Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Subway Chronicles: Entry #3

Photographed by Joseph O. Holmes

The turnstiles of the New York City Subway System are portals to a wonderland of adventure. What I will attempt to do in these chronicles is transcribe the bizarre occurrences that I participate in and witness on a daily basis. The # 5 train is to me what the Inferno was to Dante. If nothing, I hope these accounts will at least paint a thought-provoking picture of what goes down in the underground.

A bald brother stepped on the train on Bowling Green with beads of sweat visible on his scalp. His physique seemed to imply that he had spent considerable time in the gym, and by the gym I mean the recreation room of Rikers Island. He had his back to me and the definition in his posterior deltoid and latissimus dorsi told me that his exercise of choice must have been a wide grip “I ain’t gon be no sucka” bench press routine. As jacked as he was, one might suspect that there would be no need to accentuate his toughness with accessories, but he sported black shades that were identical to those worn by Wesley Snipes in Blade. This told me that he was either a certified badass or a dedicated fan of the movie. I presupposed the former and as you will soon discover, I chose correctly.

The train was crowded so I moved a “Mother May I ?” baby step to the left as he stepped into the train. If Blade were smaller than me, I might have let out a sigh or sucked my teeth but I thought about him punching me in the ribs for doing that and premonitions came to me like they did to Stevie in Lately. The thought of a shot in the ribcage brought Stevie’s voice in my head and I envisioned myself in the fetal position singing, “what I really feel, my eyes won’t let me hide, cause they always start to cry.” And though it had been years since I shed a tear, something innate told me that this random man was capable of reminding me exactly what that felt like.

Regrettably, an unfortunate Caucasian man failed to read Blade like I had and committed a blunder of Himalayan proportions. He tried to squeeze by Blade without saying excuse me. To the bewilderment of all the passengers in the car, Blade then proceeded to grab a pole with both hands and repeatedly thrust his rear end at this poor Caucasian man. I kid you not faithful readers when I say that I witnessed this with mine own eye. I was brought back to 1999 and expected Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up” to begin playing over the PA system. To add injury to insult, Blade then proceeded to ask this traumatized man questions.

(Blade begins to back that thang up like a video vixen)

Random Caucasian Man: Hey!
Blade: What!
Random Caucasian Man: (visibly upset and confused that a grown man’s posterior has violated him in such a way) come on…
Blade: Yeah What!?
Random Caucasian Man: (now off the train and on the platform and becoming more confident with the knowledge that the train doors will soon close) is that necessary?
Blade: (choosing not to engage in any philosophical discussion on the necessity for him to do as he pleases with his bum and prepared to jump out of the train at any second and possibly continue to assault the Caucausion man with his buttocks) WHAT? YEAH…WHAT!?

I thought about ending this recount of my sojourn in the inferno by writing, "I didn’t know whether to laugh or tell Blade to ease up.” But that would be a boldface lie. I justified my inaction by the old “feed a man a fish” parable. Intervene in the act of a man getting sonned, and you spare him public humiliation for a day; allow a man to have another man’s gluteus maximus repeatedly thrust into his torso, and you teach him that anything can happen when you’re down below, in the Inferno. Here endeth the lesson.

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