Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rewind: Standoff in the Subway

6:21pm.  Rush hour.

People are going every which way hustling to this train, and that bus, or whatever.  I get a glance of some subway performers flipping in the air and break dancing to loud music.  One of them stops to pass around a hat that onlookers throw money into. 

Everyone is moving fast.  Everyone seems wild eyed and full of energy.

Except this one lady.

It's 6:23pm and my train is at 6:32pm.  I have at least a five or six minute walk to get there, so yeah, I am running late...AS USUAL.

So I'm walking up the ramp and like I said this one lady stands out.  She looked like she just got off work and was tired.  White woman.  Late 40s/early 50s.  Plump.  She was carrying two bags and was kinda just slowly waddling down the walk ramp.  She stood out because she was the ONLY FOOL walking on the wrong side of the ramp.  Just like when you are always stay to the right in the subway.   Foot traffic moves a certain way just like regular traffic does.  There are rules in the subway yanno...unspoken laws that you must learn and abide by as a New Yorker.  But she clearly did not give a f*ck, and she was walking to the left going into the subway.  THE WRONG SIDE.  I was walking out of the subway and was staying to my right - like I was supposed to.  I saw her coming down like that, but I saw enough space between her and the railing that I could still get by her.  But as I get ready to pass her, she closes that space and walks right into me.   Then she presses her body against mine....


It's 6:25pm.

Me:  "Are you serious?"
Lady:  "I was here first."
Me:  "You're walking on the wrong side.  Everybody that's going into the subway is over there."
Lady:  (looking straight ahead and looking even more determined) "I was walking here first!"
So here we are, two grown azz women, bodies pressed against each other, stopped in the subway.  People are looking.  Although this woman looks pretty normal she obviously is crazy.  I'm bigger and taller than her and she don't even seem to care.  I know if I push her it's gonna be some shyt.  And I'm gonna miss my train too.

I look down at her and think to myself for a few seconds.  "Is she worth it?" 

The situation had a Civil Rights Movement kind of feel to it.  For real.  White vs. Black.  She had this air and attitude of entitlement about her.  I mean she might as well had said, "Get out of my way you n*gga."  It felt odd.  So I had to decide fast.  Was I gonna get Rosa Parks on her azz and stand my ground, or was I gonna be Martin Luther King and let her go?

It is now 6:26pm.  Six minutes left.
Me: (shaking head and laughing) "You know what, I have a train to catch.  I have no time for this.  Have a good day."  And I walk around her.

Lady:  "You have a good day too."  She was just as pleasant as pie.

"Stupid bitch", I spat.

I catch the train (barely), but I am sitting there steaming mad.  Not at her though.  At myself!

I was mad because I let her have her way.  Why did she feel that she could approach me in a threatening way like that?  Do I have the word "punk" etched on my damn forehead or something?  I was mad at myself because I should have stood my ground and pushed her azz out of the way.  I could have gotten on another train and it was not a big deal, and I used the reason for catching the train as an excuse to let this heifer slide.  I should not have let her get off that easy.  I felt like I had been punked and I didn't like the feeling.

Then I remembered how I read a few days before about a guy being convicted for killing a man in the subway who wouldn't move his bag off the seat so he could sit down.  I mean, you never know what people might do.  But still, I was mad.

So I call Chipotle.  He tells me I did the right thing by walking away but I still wasn't convinced.

Then I called Kim.  She asked me, "So would it have been better for y'all to be standing there like two fools refusing to move for each other?  The woman was clearly crazy and sometimes you just have to let those people go on."

The therapist agreed too.  She said I did the right thing.

But when I told the Tin Man, he said I should have pushed her.  In fact, when I told that story to any native New Yorker male they said I should have pushed her.  Interesting.

I dunno.  Maybe she was prejudiced.  Maybe she was crazy.  Maybe she had a bad day.  I feel I should have given her a harder time than I did.  She was clearly in the wrong and I should not have let that go like that.

I'll probably go the grave thinking I should have just knocked her on her azz and ran like I stole something.

Oh was just another day in New York City I guess.  People are just short-tempered.  The other day I saw a man threatening to punch out a sista ringing the bell for the Salvation Army collection box.   I mean really, who picks a fight with a Salvation Army person?  Damn homie, dontcha know it's Christmas! 

I had a chance to redeem myself though because something happened the next week and I didn't back off...Cuz there was no way that I was having that shyt happen to me a second time.  NOPE. 

This time it was a man who thought he was gonna f*ck with me because I was by myself at the movies.  I have no regrets on how I handled that situation though.  NOT AT ALL.

I get tired of people trying to push me around.

I'll save that story for next time.  Going to the therapist at lunch.  I think I'm gonna talk about Tin Man and what happened with that.  Hope it's a good session.


  1. Your posts always get me laughin' my azz off!!

    You did do the right thing, though. I know how it feels when you think you let some middle aged white woman punk you---it happened to me while driving just last week---but you're right; you never know what these people are capable of and how far something will go. I get some serious road rage sometimes, but I gotta keep telling myself to just back down and leave. Too many crazies are running around with guns nowadays, yaknow??

  2. As much as I'm sure you would have enjoyed shoving her down then using her pudgy body as a would have missed your train, lol. You did the right thing! Not the fun thing.. but right ;)

  3. whoa whoa whoa..more importantly when did TinMan come back into the picture? lol...see you been gone too long!

    and hey if you see crazy coming cross the street. you weren't a "punk" you were a person who is sane. remember a while ago someone was stabbing random people w/syringes on the train>? what if that crazy trick was one of those..waiting for you to push her to set her off to crazytown?

  4. That chick had to have been crazy but like everyone else said you did the right thing. No point in wasting that can of whoop ass on her anyway. Sometimes I feel like I back down a lot but being assertive is not in my nature. Now piss me off majorly and it's on! LOL

    Glad you're back to blogging though. I lurk more than I write these days.