seriously mta? i hope you realize that if i don’t have a job, i can’t afford to pay you.
you don’t know what hate is until you ride the nyc subway every day. people take the subway not because it’s by choice but because they either live too far to walk and/or refuse to take the bus. a true new yorker does not take the bus. why, you must ask? because we just don’t. there are a few exceptions, for instance, if you’re trying to cross town, if you live in queens, you’re a senior citizen, or you’re suddenly RKO outta nowhere’d by a sneaky service change.
i leave at the same time every day, but i will somehow manage to be late not because it’s my fault, but because of the train. the most painful/annoying/frustrating part of it all is when i’m only a second late. due to the wonderful world of billable hours, when i come in at 9:37:30 AM instead of by 9:37:29 AM, i’m 15 minutes late and a part of me dies a little inside.
my day starts off with an alarm that sounds like something went horribly wrong in a nuclear lab. i always thought life threatening danger would wake me up, but instead i find myself still laying in bed unfazed.
after the successful completion of my daily obstacle course of dodging dog sht that their responsible owners don’t clean up after, pigeons that perfected the game of chicken, and playing frogger with bicyclists, i am rewarded with a daily dose of three-minute sunlight and an entry to the cave of death.
the mta stations look and feel like you’re entering a gas chamber, especially in the summer. it’s fcking horrible. you’re standing there waiting for a train that likes to come whenever it wants, suffocating in a thick humid cloud of sweat, rat poison, diseases, and other fun things with barely any room between you and the person next, front, and behind you, sandwiched in a hell hole with the promise of an AC’ed train. occasionally you might be able to spot a rare “what a beautiful day. everything is wonderful!” creature in the form of another human, but you’re smarter than that to fall for their tricks. NOT TODAY CREATURE. NOT TODAY.
you would think the torture would end there. but nope, this is just the beginning.
when you enter the subway car you will almost always come across one of these types of people:
then there’s those people who are so hypnotized by their electronics they lose all sense of reality. if they take their eyes off their device for a second, they’ll lose their high. don’t fck with them. they may bite. these addicts are violent people. while binging on their high, they will step on your shoes, bump into you, and will not let you enter or leave the train. they will also walk down the stairs at the speed of a child learning how to walk for the very first time and make you miss your train.
if you don’t possess the prime real estate (the two corners by the doors) you can either fall on your face, slam into a stranger (chosen at random), or find a metal bar to hold onto. but you must remember that there is no such thing as a free pole. you will encounter these guardians securing the pole as if it was made of gold. i guess that would make sense considering that the mta fare increases every year yet the service seems to get worse. you can try a silent and passive aggressive approach by gripping the part of the pole that is right in front of their face, but yet these fckers will not get the fcking clue. go ahead, make all the eye contact you want, it won’t work. you see, the pole hog is blinded by greed. only after loudly voicing “excuse me” from built-up frustration, you just might break their spell.
if you live near the first/last stop of the train, you’ll be lucky enough to get a seat. as you snuggle into the hard plastic chair sat on by thousands of people, you’ll look around and find some relief that the coast is clear of pole dancers, crying babies, screaming children, and random appearances of singing (optional) people asking for money. the man/woman sitting next to you doesn’t smell and you start to think “hey, maybe today will be a normal day.” well, guess again.
a peek-a-reader is not a cute pokemon. they are sneaky little elves disguised as normal people who possess the same abilities as a possessive girlfriend/boyfriend. whatever you’re reading or doing, they will just peek-a-glance. sometimes they don’t even realize that they’re doing it until they realize they are breathing closer and closer to your face. to ward off a peek-a-reader, one must occasionally throw back a glare of discomfort, silently giving them a warning that you will reveal their true identity if their behavior does not stop.
exiting the train isn’t any easier. once you reach your stop, all of the men, women, and children by the exit become professional football players forming a defensive line at the end zone. FYI, they lose the game if they let you off first. after much resistance, if you’re lucky enough to even exit the car, you can lavish yourself with the feeling of a newborn baby that just exited the womb.
following your birth by your subway car mother, a gleam of light will shine down on the escalator of frustration. don’t be fooled by the light. your journey does not end here.
there’s an unspoken rule that applies to escalators. if you want to stay stationary stand on your right. if you’re going to stay in the left then learn how to fcking walk. there’s a special place in hell when you’re in front of the non-stationary line and you suddenly decide to stop in the middle for no reason at all during rush hour.
after the struggles, finally, i reach my destination. it wouldn’t be so bad if i was greeted by cute little puppies and pints full of ice cream. nope. instead i’m just returning to the daily grind, sitting behind my computer screen, typing away only to repeat the same journey tomorrow.