5 People You Meet On The NYC Subway
Michael Fassbender from Shame
Slick hair, pressed jacket, straight white teeth. This guy is always on his way home from work, even if it’s 11 a.m. on Saturday. He’s on the 4/5/6 line or en route to. His mind is platooning between ways to murder his coworkers and ways to murder you. His suitcase is full of blank, white sheets of paper, two dolls and a GQ. Inside of the GQ is a hand-drawn image of his mother. He’s going to go home, put on classical music, meticulously prepare a meal of veal marsala and write letters to dead poets.
Asian Girl Solidifying Stereotypes
Between every stop, this girl (and her group of similarly expressive cohorts) will find a different way to set back the clock on Asians in Western society. At Times Square she smiles at her Hello Kitty backpack. At Herald Square she giggles into her palm. At Union Square, she takes out her violin and plays with her right hand while studying with her left, while painting anime with a foot paintbrush. You are impressed. She blushes with grace and shame. She gets off at Canal Street.
Surprisingly the least interesting person on the train. Whether it’s yelling at the ceiling, smelling their arms, petting a dead rodent, reading headlines in the Post in the voice of Wanda Sykes, or gazing violently at the Asian Girl Solidifying Stereotypes, The Insane will be regarded like the child at an adult party. It’s cute, we all think, this person lives their life in absolute chaos, spiraling out to the depths of human consciousness, the terrifying abyss of the mind. We shake our heads, laughably, silly homeless people, when will you learn!?
In transit between work (SoHo), home (a thirty-bed living space under a pork factory in the Lower East Side) and the Upper East Side (to ask Father for the check, and to spit underneath his girlfriend’s pillow). Why is the model on the subway? We ask. Why don’t they take taxis? They are paid in fur and Hydroxycut. Legally, they don’t exist. At the tender age of 29 they turn into payphones.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even the largest Eastern European looks ripe to mug. You have to make it four days until your next paycheck, we think. It would be so easy. But no, like every good guy you tell them how many stops until Times Square, where they can treat themselves to a silent meal at Olive Garden and an aimless, existential-crisis-inducing trip through a three story M&M’s gift shop. You earned your seven-week vacay, Svetlana and Vjosa, enjoy it!
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