Filed under fun times on the subway, living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality

When I got down to the 4/5/6 train platform at Grand Central this morning, there was a glob of about twice as many people as usual waiting. I stayed in the back of the crowd, because I believe in things like letting the people who were there first get on the train first. When it arrived, I let the glob shove their way in and then took my position at the edge of the platform, primed to get in first when the next train came. Only when it did, this squat white lady in a blouse bought too big to fit over her old lady boobs tried to pummel her way in front of me, but oh no, I gave her a hard elbow jab to the neck and took up as much space as I could inside the car just to spite her.

So I was reading my New York magazine and holding onto the metal bar above my head in order to keep my armpits aired out when the train stopped at Wall Street and lingered a little too long there. The doors closed a minute later, but we still didn’t move, so I took a seat and relaxed with an article about a Jewish woman from my neighborhood who rejected her faith and had her baby stolen from her by her zealot husband. (Exciting!) Another minute later, the air conditioning suddenly went off. Now, the air conditioning goes off all the time, but that’s just for a second while it resets itself, and you almost welcome it going off for that second because it feels so good coming back on.

This time, though, the air stayed off, and the car became eerily silent. The conductor came on over the loudspeaker and told us that the next station had a smoke problem and that the air conditioning needed to be off so that our train wouldn’t vent it in. We sat pretending to be cool about the whole thing for a while despite the fact that it would’ve been nice of them to, you know, at least open the doors while we were stuck there, but then a woman across from me started going on about how ridiculous it was, how “someone should call 911,” because they were trying to “incinerate” us. The temperature went from slightly too warm to nearly unbearable, and we all looked at each other scornfully, thinking, This is all YOUR fault.

And then someone farted.

Which made getting off at the next station and having to cough through a corridor of dirty smoke feel like quite a nice change, actually.


  1. Nicole M says:

    That’s horrible! I have to say that after feeling the hellish heat in the subway and then how wonderful the ac feels once on, wow!

    John and I have one question, how on earth do you deal with that heat?! Do you just get used to it? Or are New Yorkers not allowed to sweat or feel heat?

    • You never, ever get used to it. You expect every summer that your body will have learned from last year and acclimated to the heat, but you still sweat like crazy; I’ve stopped putting on makeup in the morning, knowing that it’ll melt off as soon as I get in the subway. Kamran, who’s Persian, is amazed that he can’t stand the heat even though he was born in the desert. You learn to not be embarrassed by your fat arms and uber-white legs and just wear as little clothing as possible. Luckily, Kamran lives near Grand Central, which is AIR CONDITIONED, but I’d almost rather die than wait for the 4/5/6 at Union Square.

      • Nicole M says:

        Grand Central has AC? I knew we missed out somewhere!

        And I’m really glad we aren’t the only people that find the subways crazy hot. I was starting to think it was because we are wimps!

        • The AC is especially great because it has to work so hard that the units drip and drip as a warning and then dump four tons of water on top of whatever unlucky person happens to be trying to cool off underneath them. Fun times.

  2. cowhead the almighty says:

    farm girl’s don’t need ac

    • Yeah, back on the farm, it didn’t matter how stanky I was. Unfortunately, office work ain’t like sloppin’ the pigs.

    • Nicole M says:

      At least on the farm there is a breeze and trees to provide shade. At least there was for the 5 years I lived in a farmhouse.
      We were oddly thankfully for any train that came through for the rush of hot wind. Wind was wind at that point for us!

  3. alison says:

    i gave her a hard elbow jab to the neck and took up as much space as I could inside the car just to spite her.


    and re: the question above, this new yorker sweats a lot.

    • Yeah, what a convenient time for her to be short enough for a swift elbow-jab. Most fun I had all day.

      What are you DOING anyway, lady? Are you still in school? If you have free time, I sure would like to see you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m at my parents’ house in MA for the summer, working full time. I’ll be back in NYC this fall for my OMFG senior year in college. We can sweat around New York then.

        • Oooooooooh, exciting. But why? And where are you working?

          • alison says:

            I didn’t really know how I was going to pay for staying in NYC during the summer, and I landed a really well-paying internship in MA, so I came back. If all goes to plan, this will be my last time living here.

            • You know what’s really awesome? Until you included your URL in this last comment, I thought you were the OTHER Alison I know in NYC, who I used to work with at the bookstore. Hence the “where are you working?” inquisition. I’ll bet you were like, “‘I sure would like to see you’? I’ve never met you in my life.”

              It’s great when you know, like, two whole people in a city, and they both have the same name. But hey, I’m glad to hear that you have a great internship. And it’s way more respectable that you’re living at home this summer, ’cause the other Alison’s ten years older than you are.

            • alison says:

              yeah to be honest i was kind of confused at first (although not in a bad way. at age 21, i am still desperate for approval…and i guess attention.) but then i figured you had mistaken me for someone else as i had left out my url accidentally.

              • I like the mention of your age, as if you expect that to change as you get older. Seems like people in their 30s and 40s are way worse off than we are in that respect.

  4. Tracey says:

    Just imagine. Of all the thousands of subway cars full of people you’ve been in, that one could have been your last. Was there at least anyone pretty to look at during your final pre-incineration moments?

    • No. Absolutely no one good-looking gets off at my subway stop in the morning. They all get off at Wall Street and leave me sitting with a bunch of tourists going to the Statue of Liberty. There IS one great-looking guy, though, who works a few floors up from me and rides the elevator with me most mornings. He’s always wearing things like bowties and suspenders, and I have to compliment him every day, and I think I’m thisclose to making him my gay boyfriend even though he’s straight.

  5. Tracey says:

    Well, then. Maybe it would have brought you satisfaction to have been the best-looking dead body pulled out by the hunky rescue workers?