Tales of Subway Confrontations

Since moving to New York I’ve had an impressive amount of defeating experiences on the subway. Like that time an affectionate homeless fellow gazed up at me from his stolen shopping cart and started pantomiming a jack off to ejaculation in my direction. Or that time the heroine addict sneezed in my ear. Or that time the couple in love decided to dry hump on the bench across from me.

These types of events are certainly unsettling, but are in no way traumatizing or damaging to my tender soul simply because they are disturbingly expected to happen on public transportation. But today something happened that gave me the overwhelming urge to throw myself in front of an approaching F train.

The subway was crowded in an early morning sort of way, but I was lucky enough to wedge myself onto a free area of bench. My delicate early morning concentration was fully focused on what had quickly become an intense game of Temple Run. Then I felt someone staring at me.

I looked up slowly and indirectly (any person who has been in New York more than fifteen minutes understands this sort of eye contact protocol) and met eyes with an impressively angry lady who was projecting ocular beams of hate directly toward me.

I was a bit thrown. What had I done wrong? Did I unknowingly yell “Fuck You” after losing a round of Temple Run? I’d definitely had outbursts like that before, so I couldn’t in good faith say it wouldn’t happen again. Did she hate my new jacket?

My spiral into a never-ending hypothetical dwindled to a low twirl when the announcer on the subway informed me that my stop was next.

But the lady continued to stare at me. It was seriously starting to freak me out, so I decided that I’d get a head start on my escape by getting up and moving toward the exit before the train came to a complete stop. The angry lady foiled by plan by blocking the only path to the exit with her arm.

I nervously muttered “excuse me” because for some sick reason I needed this complete stranger to back the fuck off and just approve of me. That didn’t happen. She responded to my politeness with a, “Listen, bitch, you can just wait until we get to a complete stop,” and blocked me in the corner.

So I did what any mature adult would do. When the train stopped and new riders started to file in I ducked under her arm swiftly. As soon as I was a safe enough distance away I turned back and yelled, “Have a nice day, ASSHOLE. And I hate your ice cream face.”

FYI, I have no idea what an ice cream face looks like. And clearly I’m immature.


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