I think it's time that Verbal Honey puts the spotlight on a subject that is very unique to New York City underdwellers. A topic that permeates life in the city but is not talked about much because of its familiarity. It's high time that New Yorkers stop for a second and admit that what we see in the tunnels underground everyday is not normal. Its time that we highlight our daily interludes with madness and we shall henceforth pen them, "TrainMares"- Frightening Occurences Underground. Your experience could be short, it could be long, it doesn't matter. We have to release the psychotic things we see on the train less we start accepting them as normal. It's for our own good. I will start today's TrainMare with something I saw yesterday.
Yesterday morning my daughter and I trekked to the closest train station to get to her summer camp destination. We left home early so we were able to enjoy a nice summer walk without the rushing. The air was thick yesterday so I was glad I didn't have to rush and end up drenched in sweat. When we made our way down into the subway, we didn't even have to wait. The train met us right on time. We sat down to the refreshing coolness of the AC. I knew this day was going to be a good day. I took part in every underdwellers favorite past time-staring at the posted ads. We've seen all of these ads before but somehow we keep staring, hoping we'll see something new so we won't have to make eye contact with the person sitting across from us.
Anway, it was an ad about the Whoopi Goldberg narrated piece, "Journey to the Stars" at the Museum of Natural History. I turned to tell my daughter that I would like to take her there this Saturday when I heard something knock against the window next to me. We were racing through the blackness of the tunnel so I knew no one could have knocked from the outside, or could they? I looked over to the guy sitting to my right and he just had a blank stare. Just when I was about to turn away, the back of his head hit the window. 'Oh that was the noise!' I thought he must be really sleepy, hitting his head as he dozed off. The bumps from the ride can treat you like a rag doll if you are falling into the trap of sleep. Then the disturbing happened. The same young man to my right hit the back of his head into the window again and again and again. His facial expression did not flinch.
At this point I just wanted to be freed at the next stop. I acted like I wasn't witnessing what I was witnessing, and so did everyone else. You see! If someone got up and said, "What's wrong with you boy?! Why are you beating your head against the window?!", maybe the young man would have snapped back to his senses. But no such luck. I wasn't about to be that brave soul either so as soon as my stop approached, my daughter and I hopped out to the surface. Freedom! Until the next time....