Saturday, August 28, 2004

This Semester I'm taking...NYC 101a

Everyday I learn something new in this city. Today, for instance, I learned things about the subway: Even though stations A and B are connected on the MTA maps by a pretty line of the same color, and said map indicates train X does stop in stations A and B, sometimes, just because (say, it's a Saturday, or after 2:49 p.m.), train X doesn't stop in station B, and you have to actually get to station B to find this out. Usually, there will be a sign there that says "X train to Bronx." Sometimes, X train stops on two sides, but one side goes to the Bronx, and the other side goes to Coney Island. You get all excited because you didn't get confused like last time and jump on the first X train you saw, which goes to Coney Island, nope, you waited for the one that goes in the direction of the Bronx. Twenty or so minutes after standing and waiting with no sign of the Bronx-bound X train, however, you look at the sign and wonder if you are missing something, like maybe you need to utter incantations while turning, thrice widdershins, to get the train to arrive. Then you see the sign also says on weekends, Bronx-bound X doesn't live here. Then you get to spend lots of time running up and down stairs and hopping on trains Y and Z to get back to station A, oh yes you do. It is especially fun if you have 40+ pounds worth of unwieldy shopping on hand. I also learned it is possible for the subway to get so hot that you can feel sweat form and gather between your shoulders, then run down your back and right down into your asscrack, where it pools and leaves you with a decidedly unpleasant, not-so-fresh feeling. I learned that, even stinking (as one can begin to do after spending an hour lugging giant bags around the labryinthine bowels of the steamy subway system) and cursing (as one does after banging the sharp-edged contents of said bags against one's shins and ankles for the thirty-seventh time) and rocking crazy pit-, back- and booty-stains and the saddest wilted natural you ever did see (because one failed to anticipate any of the aforementioned woes and prepare by coating oneself head-to-foot with various sweat, frizz and odor-fighting chemicals), a fool working on a Goodwill garbage truck will try to holla. And, like, mean it. And these are the lessons I would like to give back, as thanks for all those I learned today: Oh MTA, if a train is not running, or is drastically behind schedule, make an announcement. Within ten minutes of the delay. It would mean so little to you, and yet so much to the hundred-or-so of us milling about, looking pissily down the track like a bunch of melting lemmings. And if you cannot be sodding bothered to make an announcement, air-condition some shit so we at least don't all stank by the time the air-conditioned conveyance arrives. Oh Goodwill garbage man, no. No. No you do not try to talk to a cursing, stinking, sweating woman carrying big-ass bags uphill in the heat, unless it is to offer her a hand, and even then, you know what, no. Because there is nothing, NOTHING, you can say in that moment to get her from thinking "What the holy-rolling hell was I thinking, dragging all this shit home from Brooklyn" to "Yes, big boy, I do have a minute, and I do find men twice my age wearing work gloves and holey tee shirts erotic, and yes we can do a little somethin' sometime." I mean, seriously, brother, where is your head? Tomorrow's lessons: Learning to PEE--Project, Enunciate and Emote--while relaying your story of homelessness on a loud, moving train.


At 8/29/2004 01:13:00 AM, Blogger deborah said...

Big Hug for you. You poor poor thing. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about! Either the freakin trains aren't working, the bus which takes you to work doesn't borther to show and there will always be a FREAK there to help you along the way. ARGH!

Re Ask John. Our PM (hopefully not for very much longer) is a version of your President Bush. You should also check out the other part of the blog Very Very funny.

At 8/29/2004 04:29:00 AM, Blogger Berry said...

Yes, you are learning and you got a true education today :-) Everyone new to New York experiences that. Part of the excitement of this city. We called them having "a moment" as in a New York Moment. Have fun and enjoy it.

At 8/29/2004 10:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sid, girl, I know EXACTLY how you felt. It was a steaming kinda day, right? Hot & ishty, right? You felt as tho you were in a spa, but only it was a dirty, freakin, stinkin spa, right? That happened to me once when I visited my swee'pea daughter in the stinkin city about a month ago. I thought I would faint any minute. I couldn't wait to get out of that town and head back north. As much as I hate CT, it is heaven compared to NYC! I applaud your bravery. I would have turned around & headed bk to the UWS.


At 8/31/2004 02:13:00 AM, Blogger deborah said...

I am your 100th visitor. Do I get a cookie?

At 4/16/2005 06:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are hilarious!


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