Two days back, my mom got on the subway as per usual and started listening to her iPod. Some lady apparently leaned in towards her constantly and she wasn’t asleep. Finally, she began feeling the lady poking her from the side as in to get her attention.
She was a complete stranger poking another one. She asked, “Is your company hiring? I’m looking for a job.”
My mom made her aware of the fact that her company had fired 22 people the week prior to and there were no jobs available. And the woman began telling her story of misery. Her husband had lost his job and there was not enough money to pay the bills and so forth.
This continued back and forth until the train ride ended.
Yesterday, 8:15 am, E train Union Tpke
I got on the train and was listening to the iPod. This was one of the newer E trains – the ones that look like the 6 and L trains – and it was jam packed. There was no room to move about and being only 5’5 I still had to opt to hang on to the handles right above me instead of to my sides.
There was a young couple chatting flirtatiously (even though it was professional) and though there was room I could not hang on in between them as my hand would distract their conversation.
Behind me, I was not aware of what was going on, but apparently my body may have touched another man’s body. This man was about 6’1 and ugly looking. All of a sudden through the melodious sound in my iPod I hear a cankerous growl
“So what! I don’t exist huh? I don’t exist huh?” he began wailing. “You could just push me right? I don’t exist huh?” And I signaled to him that I had my iPod on and also, I don’t speak during the mornings…I take a vow of noble silence. So, with a smile I pointed to my iPod and the crowd to signal that there were a lot of people on the train and it would be next to impossible for me to avoid any sort of touching.
Well, this got him angrier, “Take them off so you can hear me!!!!!!!” and then he did what I did not expect at all, he actually physically elbowed me.
Me being in noble silence – which is a semi-meditative state – I just smiled accepted and turned around. From Union Tpke to Lexington Ave. 53rd street, not a single person got off that E train, including that man and me.