Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Subway Chronicles: Entry #4

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.

I escorted my sister and her son to my mother’s home from the Port Authority a few weeks ago. My nephew had recently turned two and I carried him for the duration of the excursion.

When we boarded the number 5 train it was crowded. After a few stops, some seats temporarily freed up. With child in arm, I followed my sister as she maneuvered towards the vacant seats. 3 Hispanics sisters noticed these seats and managed to commandeer them a millisecond before my sister got to them. Although my sister had clearly shown intent in her pursuit for that seat, we had clearly been beat. My sister’s intent, however, seemed to have gone unnoticed by these poor Hispanic sisters. I say poor because what happened next utterly astounded me.

My sister effectively DEBOED two of the subway seats that I was certain had been taken. In one swift movement and before two of the three Hispanic sisters were actually able to sit down my sister extended her hand, contorted her neck, opened her eyes and uttered two words with a steadfast conviction that I can only marvel at in retrospect: “EXCUSE ME!”

She then looked at me and smiled so sincerely that it made me question whether this was the same person who had just jacked the dignity of two random women. Flabbergasted and in some ways emasculated by the assertive Mugabe-esque maneuvering of my younger sister, I shook my head defiantly.

“Ummm, nah, I’m good. Why don’t you sit down and hold him.”

I would not relish in the spoils of this overt act of terrorism.

I turned to the 2 Hispanic sisters and tried to reconcile the coup d’ subway seat by thanking them for giving up their place; all while knowing full well that my sister had straight up taken it.

One of these poor Hispanic women made the mistake of muttering something under her breath. Something to the extent of “I didn’t know there were assigned seats in the subway.” It was a mistake on her part only because she didn’t fully comprehend the true force behind the heat of the inferno; its remarkable ability to magnify the latent predatory instincts of a mother with child.

Try to keep in mind that my sister had already successfully commandeered their seats. With child in hand she began what was clearly a monologue. I know it was a monologue because although she was looking at me, the pitch of her voice told me that she intended the entire train to hear what she was saying.

“I WISH……..that if someone had something to say, that they would address me to my FACE!!!!” Her eyes rolled and opened wide. Her neck was no longer human but snake-like. I remember watching an episode on Rouge Bears on the Discovery channel and I’m pretty sure this was one of the signs they warned was indicative of an impending attack.

At this point I broke into French. “What’s wrong with you? You’re going to get into a fight while you’re with your son? Are you out of your mind?!,” I asked.

“I don’t care,” she replied (in English). “If they got something to say to me, let 'em say it to my face!”

At this point I’m beginning to measure the odds of my sister getting beat up. The fact that she was outnumbered made it imperative that I jump in if the fight became unfair. So I stood there wondering whether a sweep kick or karate chop to the throat were strikes that I could get away with administering given the circumstances and the gender of the displaced. I quickly resolved that both of these moves would be honorable if used only once. One chop to the throat alone might be okay, but repeated chops would be excessive and dishonorable (again, the inferno at work here made this sadistic surmising seem reasonable in my mind at the time.) One chop apiece it is, I thought to myself.

This truculent thought process was only interrupted when I realized that we were approaching our stop. As my sister rose to leave the train, the young women she sonned looked to the floor. I imagine they felt my sisters stare; an ocular solicitation to scrap near the train tracks, to rumble in the jungle, to dance the forbidden dance (i.e., the a-town stomp on one’s person).

“Hmmph,” she sighed as she stepped of the train.

I was dumbfounded and admittedly somewhat impressed by this display of prowess.

As we emerged from the subway, the beast I saw below was no more. In its place stood a gregarious young woman. We spoke of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens and frolicked as we thought of the love that awaited us at our mother’s home.


Brother Lightness said...

Absolute comedy.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaaaaaah!!! Absolutely hilarious. I have seen this similar transformation from human to lycanthrope one too many times. LOL!!!!!!!

Brother Darkness said...

Hahahahaha. Brother Smartness you must bless us with more of these writings more often. Definitely witty, intelligent and hilarious.