I have come very familiar with the MTA, maybe a little more than I would like. Riding public transportation is one of my least favorite things to do, and maybe if I did not live in the metropolis of the world, I would drive to work...but in NYC that is financial death!
Therefore, I get on that "iron horse", as we like to call it, every day, into Manhattan, and back home to Brooklyn. I never can say I actually look forward to my commute. A person like me hates being confined as it is for any amount of time, and to have to sit and be patient for 45 minutes and sometimes 1 whole hour if there is "train congestion ahead" can be mortifying to say the least.
To remedy my boredom, I usually will read, listen to my ipod OR just zone out. Think about what I am doing next, how I will execute and so on. Today I did not bring any reading materials, my i-pod was dead, I gave thanks for all I have and I was still left with about 30 minutes, so what did I do...OBSERVE every single human species that was on the train with me.
I observed and analyzed their movements, their gestures, their conversations (if they were with someone) and what I noticed was so funny that I actually was a little disappointed when I reached my destination and had to get off. Every single time I looked in the eyes of someone on the train they quickly moved their eyes, OR they looked back but when they realize that maybe I am not as "normal" as the rest of the people, because I stared at them back, they moved their eyes.
I even smiled at some, and spoke to a few. This is not that much out of my norm since I find myself talking to strangers more often than not..BUT to actually be aware of every detail is really interesting.
People in NYC are so into THEM and what THEY are doing that they really do not care about getting to know anyone. In addition these are the same people who are soo self-conscious its sad. Look at some of the scenarios I noticed and tell me if this is not just pure comedy:
1: Homeless looking person is sitting on the train taking up..mm maybe...a good 2 seats. The man is not stinking or looking crazy, but since the 1st person passed on the seat, no one else wants to sit next to the man, in fear they may appear to go against what everyone else is doing.
2: There is an empty seat but their is a bit of "something" in the seat, crumbs, nothing that will really do any damage to your clothes. Person A looks at it but realizes mid way to sitting in the seat and sits anyway because now she risks looking stupid amongst her fellow train riders. So she waits 3 stops and starts dusting under her behind secretly to try to move the crumbs INSTEAD of just getting up and acknowledging it. I saw the whole thing lady, and someone else too. Someone is always watching you.
3: Person A gets on a crowded train and Person B is clearly on top of Person A's neck from the gate. Instead of telling Person A when they were pushing to get on "look..there is no room where are you going"? You stay there in agony for at least 2-3 minute until the next stop, and lets hope there is no "train congestion". Don't let them squeeze in on you if you are clearly hangingout the door yourself.
And the classic,
4: Person A falls asleep and is knocked the hell out next to Person B. Person A is soooo gone and in his 5th dream that he literally starts leaning on Person B who is reading her book. Person B is clearly annoyed and she wants to nudge Person A but is afraid. What are you afraid of?
The answer is WE ARE AFRAID OF EACH OTHER UNCONSCIOUSLY. WHY??? We all pretty much come from the same makeup.
Stop walking on eggshells with strangers. Speak the hell up! If you do not like something and YOU have to experience it, SAY something. You don't have to be rude, but you have to speak up for yourself. You have to own up to being your own best defender and protector.
Lets get to know one another. Do not be afraid to tell someone they have something on their nose, that they are rubbing you with their bag and take it off, to get off of my shoulder please, to stop leaning up against me behind with your "tool" bewteen your legs, to look at me and smile.
Its a new day! Spread the word.