Things I Saw On the Subway Today

1. A rat war wherein the winning rat carried off the dead rat’s body under the third rail and begin to eat his slain opponent.

2. A woman, with her teenage daughter in tow, popping a squat and pissing herself. Fully clothed. She then proceeded to tie a jacket around her waist and walk around like it was 100% normal to have wet stains around her crotch and knees.

News flash: none of that is normal.

If you have to pee THAT BADLY just pull your pants down. Really. Please. It saves you, it saves me.

I love you, MTA.

Musings on a MetroCard

I have the apartment to myself, for the moment.

Saturday nights are typically blissful in this regard. I come home from a late shift at work and sit on the couch basking in the silence and my exhaustion.

When I was on the subway coming home I had a funny experience; I was watching a group of teenage girls, probably 15-years-old, who were obviously tourists. One of them was holding her MetroCard and her Blackberry instead of putting them away in her purse. It was as if she thought flashing her fare card and a smart phone were special.

Never-mind that every New Yorker has both.

I used to be that girl. After every annual trip to Manhattan I would return home to Indiana and keep my MetroCard in my wallet. I would try to make sure people saw it when I went to pay for things, take the yellow card out and examine it at length during choir or lunch or play practice, pretend for hours that I was somebody who flew off to NYC every weekend and did exciting and glamourous things.

I guess I never realized it until recently, having dug up my old “101 Things I Want to Do Before I Die” list and crossing off the last two now-achieved goals (#52 Move to New York City, #101 Go to India), that maybe I do do things. Maybe I am somebody who does exciting and glamorous things. It may not show in my job or my income or my overall “am I feeling fulfilled today?” quotent, but I do do things and if the least of what I do is see my dreams happen then I guess that is enough.

For now.

Ironically I do not try to flash my MetroCard now. They have evolved into something of annoyance. When it is cold, for instance they do not work. I had the most frustrating winter with 3 rounds of non-functioning, month-long duration cards that refused to let me onto the train platforms. Having to be buzzed in twice or three times daily by a station attendant for 3 months is enough to drive anyone to distraction. They’re also a reminder of urine smell, rats, people coughing on me, a way to get bed bugs, track work, running late, panhandlers, performing groups, fights, a few public mental breakdowns, missing stops, people barfing, being hot… the list goes on…

Ok. That was an almost lie. I still flash my MetroCard. It’s like an ugly, yellow symbol that I am on the path to making something of myself… even if I do not know what that something is.

(Being a 20-something is totally corny, isn’t it? That is my thought after rereading this. Deal with it people. Deal.)