Ok, I can’t lie to you guys any longer. I miss the C Line. I know, I know. But it’s like Stockholm Syndrome, where the relationship was so bad that – now that I’m out of it – I miss the control it had over my life. I miss the 1.5 hours it took to go the 6 miles from work to my apartment. I miss the woman who asked me every day if I could get up so she could sit down. I miss the Angry Engaged Couple and I wonder what they’re doing right now. Do they miss me? Has their relationship ultimately led to their untimely demise? There’s no way of knowing.
Now that I’m a resident of New York City, I ride the 6 train to and from work. Where the Green Line was quirky and had a
mostly annoying indeterminable pluck about it, the stories of the New York subway lines go to a very dark place.
Last week, some woman was screaming about how her husband left her for a prostitute and that’s why she had to grow her hair so long. To win him back? I can’t be too sure. The other day I rode two stops next to a man who had a human-sized duffel bag full of cheese sandwiches (and we should be glad it wasn’t a human-sized duffel bag full of humans). And last month a woman at Astor Place tried to steal a bottle of wine and Sun Chips out of my Barnes & Noble tote bag. Hello? I’m bringing these to an obviously fancy dinner party and if you steal them I’ll have nothing, you jerk.
But last night my first real “Scenes from the 6 Train” experience happened – the first event that probably won’t result in someone tracking me down and murdering me if I write about it. It’s no Angry Engaged Couple, but very few things are, and I think I have to come to terms with the fact that they are no longer a part of my life and I should stop sending them letters. It’s over. Move on.
Anyway, it’s Fashion Week here and everyone riding the subway has been super glamorous and wearing wool capes and high gloves and whatever. I thought it was weird that fashion people would even deign to ride the subway, but then Anna Wintour and Victoria Beckham did it and now it’s a thing.
So last night I spotted this scrawny Asian girl, probably in her early 20s, amidst all the DVF and French cuffs that crowd my commute home. At first there was nothing too out of the ordinary about her, except that she had this ridiculous rainbow wool hat on her head, and being that it was 50 degrees yesterday, just imagining having a wool hat on my head caused me to start sweating. I was cursing her in my mind until she turned around and I noticed…is that?….I think it’s…no it can’t be…an entire roll of tape stuck to her hat. Scotch tape. In the dispenser. What. The. Eff.
There are so many questions here, so I’m going to pause and make reference to them. 1) How does a person get an entire roll of Scotch tape stuck to them. 2) How does it stay on through what was possibly blocks of walking and street crossing and maybe even a line change? 3) How do you not feel that? It’s like worlds had to collide for all of these things to happen.
So no one on the train is giving a shiz about this situation, except me. I am freaking. the eff. out. The first thought that crossed my mind was that she’s being bullied and someone did this to her on purpose as a cruel joke. But with that in mind you have to decide, do I tell her in front of all these people and have them like, notice? Or do I let her blindly walk through life not knowing that she has this tape dispenser stuck to her person and let her realize when she gets home that she traipsed around the streets of Manhattan looking like a dumbass? On the subway. Where Anna Wintour now goes. Such a tough call. But then my second thought was, she’s clearly a drug addict who has little-to-no feeling in her head and if I try to tell her about this she’s going to claw at my face and I’m going to be in the Post tomorrow. These are things that I have to reconcile in my head now. I try really hard every day not to end up in the Post.
We eventually reached 77th and Lex and I had to get off the train and I had been back and forth in my mind about what to do for at least two stops. The girl hopped off the train to make room for people getting off and I decided she can’t be too horrible of a person because she’s being considerate. She will not claw my face (probably). So I quietly tapped her on the shoulder and said “you have something stuck to your hat,” like, no big deal. Like it could have been a sticker or a leaf or something. She said thanks, giggled, took of the hat and…I bolted. I didn’t want to see the look on her face when she realized that entire roll of tape had been on top of her head for what could have possibly been hours. She had to know. But I didn’t have to be there when the atom bomb I just dropped exploded. Maybe she survived. Maybe others were wiped out with her. I don’t know. But I can sleep well at night knowing I did what I had to do. Clear eyes. Full hearts.
Editor’s Note: I hope you all have enjoyed this first installment of “Scenes from the 6 Train.” God-willing there will be more to come. In the meantime, I’m hoping to start a series entitled “NoMad Blog Investigates: Where are they Now?” and find out what has really happened to the Angry Engaged Couple. Donations are welcome to help fund what I’m sure will be a riveting three-part expose. Trench coats and big sunglasses will be involved. You’re welcome.