Saturday, July 01, 2006

a typical day in my life

I leave my apartment and take the elevator down to the lobby. The person in the elevator with me is making a smacking sound. Please, buddy. I don't want to start the day hearing or seeing your gum. When did people morph into cows? Now I'm on the street, walking to the subway. HONK! HONK! HONK! I nearly jump out of my skin. Is the fact that you're waiting for your friend an EMERGENCY, because that's what a car horn is for: E-mer-gen-cies. If you want your friend to know you're there, don't be a lazy fuck. Get out of your car and buzz him.

As I'm waiting for the train, I'm treated to the sight of at least three guys -- never women -- spitting onto the rails. I think I'm going to get into the spittoon business. I'll make millions. No I won't. If I put down a hundred spittoons, these geniuses will just spit on the floor next to them.

As I try to get on a train, the person ahead of me pauses in the door. Okay, these doors stay open for a FINITE amount of time. And no one is going to jump you. You don't need to check out the environment before venturing in. GET IN. There are people BEHIND you. Finally, the joker gets in, finds a space and stands there. He's found the space HE wants, so he's happy. He COULD move further in, making room for the rest of us, but that would take extra effort. So everyone entering after him has to squeeze past him. This is hard, because he's positioned himself in the middle of the aisle. I say, "Excuse me please," trying to get by. He doesn't acknowledge me. I clear my throat and try again: "EXCUSE ME, PLEASE." Very grudgingly, he moves about an eighth of an inch. Listen Mac, it's not about making some sort of gesture. It's about MOVING aside so that I can actually get by!

I finally squeeze by, having to get much more intimate with his body than I'd like (is brushing-your-teeth and using deodorant a lost art?), because he's determined to move the bare minimum. What is this? Some sort of macho thing? If you move too much, you're less of a man than I am? Fine, you're the big man. You have a bigger dick than I do. Happy? Now get OUT OF THE WAY!

The train is really full, mostly due to all the guys who sit with their legs spread so wide it's like they're trying to do the splits. Thanks for the crotch-view! That's exactly what I wanted to see. Wish I had some hot coffee to spill. Since there's no place to sit (there would be if the lady in front of me would move her bag onto her lap -- I'd ask her, but I don't feel like hearing that big tired sigh), I stand and try to grab a pole so that I don't fall. But some guy is leaning against it. So I guess the pole is your personal staff, Merlin? I try to reach really high and grab the pole above his head. The train lurches before I can do so, and I stumble.

Which causes me to step on a woman's foot. "I'm so sorry," I say. "Are you okay?" She just glares at me. Okay, I WAS sorry. Now I wish I had stepped on BOTH your feet -- and your head.

I finally manage to grab the pole. As the train is pulling into the next station, a guy gets up and starts getting antsy that I'm in his way and he can't get to the door as fast as he'd like. "I'm getting off at the next stop," he says. I say, "Sorry. I don't want to fall. As soon as we stop, I'll let go so and move so you can get by." "Whatever," he says, and give me a look like, "So the wittle baby is afwaid he might fall if he wets go two seconds before the big bad twain comes to a compwete stop?" Yes, Mergatroid, that's EXACTLY what the wittle baby is afraid of, so hold your fucking horses.

The good news is that once the guy leaves, I get his seat. I assume my normal beta-dog pose, trying to make myself as small as possible so as not to disturb my seat-mates. This includes getting out a book and reading it quietly. The woman next to me is also reading, but her elbows are splayed out like chicken wings. Every time she turns a page, they poke into my ribs. I wonder how big a scissors I'd need to cut through bone. The woman on my other side is doing her version of not-bothering-anybody, which for some reason involves humming quietly to herself. But I can STILL HEAR YOU. Quiet noise is still noise. No free pass for quiet humming. Here are the things you CAN do: think, read, play a video game WITH THE SOUND OFF. Not humming.

I have to admit, though, she's not as bad as the guy two seats down who has stuck his iPod headphones in my ears. Okay, they're actually in HIS hears, but they might as well be in my ears. Turn it up, space cadet. They can't hear it in Sydney. Then there's the heavy-metal dude across from me who insists on drumming on his backpack. When I'm dictator of the world, there will be NO public percussion. And it won't be three-strikes-and-you're-out. It will be one strike and you're flung into a prison camp.

As if it's not loud enough in here, a kid comes on and starts screaming an announcement, trying to sell us candy. Then an evangelist starts telling us we're all going to hell. Is there anything ruder than playing to a captive audience? I think there's a special place in hell for this evangelist, where he'll be strapped to a chair and forced to listen to the candy kid shouting in his ear for all eternity. And he'll never get to actually eat any candy.

I finally get off the fun train, and as I'm exiting the station, a fast-moving guy bumps into me -- hard. And then just keeps going. Oh, great. A hit-and-run walker. Hey, bozo, it doesn't matter if you're late for work. It doesn't matter that we're all city people and we're all in a hurry. You need a do-over in which you stop, apologize, and make sure I'm okay.

I have to use an escalator to leave the station. All I want -- with all my body and soul -- is to be out of there. My plan is to walk up the escalator, but I can't, because 10% of the people don't know -- or choose not to follow -- the simple rule of standing on the right. But you guys are special, right? Rules weren't meant for advanced humans like you.

As I finally get out into the air, a guy pushes a flyer right into my face. TAKE TWO STEPS BACK AND GET THAT PAPER OUT OF MY FACE! I wouldn't go to your pizza joint if you paid me. Though I might have considered it if you'd chosen to use a less invasive form of advertising. Then, on my way to work, I have to step into the street (and get honked at) to maneuver around the gaggle of young women who have decided to make a busy sidewalk their meeting place. Where can I buy a giant bowling ball?

Someone taps me on the shoulder and says, "How do you get to 33rd Street?" I'm sorry. Could you try that again? This time, do the version where you acknowledge that you're intruding on my time by saying, 'Excuse me, could you give me some directions?' Because I'm a pussy, I say "It's that way."

I stop in a deli to buy my coffee. There's a big line in front of me. Soon, there's a big line behind me, too. Every so often, someone bypasses the line, crosses right to the front, grabs some candy or a newspaper and thrusts a couple of bucks at the cashier. Good job, Muchacho. It's nice to know normal rules don't apply to you. Then some lady spends ten minutes digging through her bag to find her purse, so that she can give the cashier change. You couldn't have gotten your purse out while you were waiting in line, Einstein? The big-headed , portly executive behind me is booming into his cellphone, "TELL JACKSON TO DROP THE VERIZON ACCOUNT AND FOCUS ON CITICORP. THEN CALL BILL AND ASK HIM TO SEE ME AT 11." I wonder how far I could throw a cell phone?

Finally, I get to work. I'm in a SPLENDID mood. I can't wait until the work day is over and I can start the commute all over again.


Anonymous said...


acc said...

Wow, you sound miserable. Must be a fun way to go through life.