[There are Weirdos] On the 6

The subway is a magical place. It’s a decrepit, vast underground tunnel where humans from all walks of life unite.  The rich, the poor; the black, the white; the Christians, the Jews, and everyone in between has somewhere to be. A home to some, a last-minute option for others, the New York City subway system is saturated with various “showtimes”, Michael Jackson impersonators, mariachi bands, and an overall diverse mix of folk. Much like a box of chocolates, with the New York subway, you really never know what you’re going to get.

This particular Monday en route home from work, it wasn’t a performer that caught my eye. These particular straphangers were in love, which is great I guess, unless you’re so in love (and/or drunk (on a Monday?)) that you must showcase this emotion publicly, without regard to proximity of strangers or personal space bubbles. In that case, it is simply the worst.

These kids felt it necessary to showcase their affection while being a mere eight inches away from a total stranger’s face — said stranger obviously being me. I must say, I apparently attract socially oblivious humans on the metro, because this wasn’t my first time experiencing something of this nature. About a year or so back, some dude fell asleep on my shoulder on a local, not-even-busy train to Washington Heights. And just a few mornings ago, a couple sitting directly beside me kissed 67 times between the 86th St. stop on the 6 train to 51st St. THAT’S FOUR STOPS for anyone who counts. I was thinking at that time perhaps one was leaving for the army (or dying?) but they both got off at the same stop – so I feel like they had more time together than they let on. That’s a whole other tangent.

So the close-to-my-face couple was very literally in my face. Every time the guy leaned in for a kiss, I considered just going for it, because my face was the exact same proximity to his as his lady friend. She was also significantly shorter than him (and me), so he was swooping at an angle, which would have made it ridiculously easy for me to get in there. I know that making out with a rando on the MTA is the stuff of dreams, but I was obviously thinking about it for comedic purposes. Which then got me thinking about a social experiment I jokingly (?) want to test out. Just how close can you get to train strangers while doing socially inappropriate things before you get told off? Depends on people’s tolerance, I guess. I’m pretty passive aggressive [read: I let a man who may or may not have had a brick and mortar home use my shoulder as a pillow], but a swift fake sneeze in the face diffused my problem quite nicely.  After all, there’s a special place in hell for people who display public PDA.

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A Trashy Encounter

Something incredibly embarrassing happened to me and naturally I couldn’t wait to publicize it all over the inter webs for complete strangers to mock and ostracize. I’m hoping that this is a common thread among all comedy writers, and I just don’t have a screw loose or something. I guess regardless, taking the alarmingly mortifying events that happen to me almost daily and viewing them from an outside perspective does typically lighten my mood. In fact, I almost view my life as if I were Jess’ long-lost cousin in The New Girl. I think Liz Meriwether and I would get along really well. Okay, now I’m just getting off topic.

A little back ground info to tease you with: I got a new job–like 2 months ago–and am now working in leasing at a residential luxury building in Manhattan. Can’t give too much away but my very first lease happened to be with a particularly well-known person in the world of fashion. In this post, we’ll call them Chandler. There may or may not be a few other “note-worthy” people who live/have lived in the building too, but as Chandler is in an industry I identify with (and by that I mean I used to work discount retail, holler), well, needless to say I think he or she is pretty cool. (20 points if you read that in Vanessa Bayer’s Miley Cyrus accent!) (Seriously help me, I’m addicted to tv.)

Fast forward to this afternoon. I just finished scarfing down a cobb salad both the size and weight of my head. And I’m not exaggerating either, I even kept aside half of the chicken pieces that came in it to save for later (thrifty, right?). Even though I’ve been working at this building for almost two months, I literally have the memory (and sometimes common sense) of a piece of cheese and don’t remember how to maneuver the “backstage” building areas. For examples, I don’t know where the trash room is; I just last week I found out about another public bathroom on our community floor; I know we have two stair cases but didn’t know where they lead or how to find them; etc. So as I was unsuccessfully trying to stuff my salad container into one of the small trash cans in our communal room, I knew I had to come up with a plan B. Since I wasn’t about to begin exploring the underworld of the building with 6 minutes left on my break, I decided to do, what seemed at the time the most logical thing and take the elevator up a few floors to dispose of my messy salad remains in the floor garbage room.

Upon my arrival, I thought to myself this was the aforementioned resident Chandler’s floor, but I hadn’t run into them since he/she had moved in, and didn’t think too much of it. Immediately upon entering the trash and recycling room, I realized that instead of an actual garbage can, there was only a garbage shoot and a recycling bin (I don’t live there, I don’t spend too much time in the trash room, how was I to know?) I questioned the thought of just throwing the salad container down the trash shoot, but knew it would break open and wasn’t too sure of where it would land. Maybe other (normal?) people would have just thrown the half-closed salad down the shoot and been done with it, but I think it’s been established on here that I’m far too neurotic to execute that type of nonsensical behavior.

So there I was, alone in the trash room, a plastic water cup gripped between my teeth, foil-wrapped chicken leftovers in my armpit and staring at the falling apart salad container the size of a basketball, panicking about how to dispose of it when naturally, who comes to find me there? Not only was this the weirdest of coincidences, but as Chandler entered the trash room, the first though that immediately enters my brain is, “OHMYGAWDCHANDLERTHINKSIEATMYLUNCHINTHETRASHROOM”! Because seriously, I’m essentially the help at this building, and why else would I be lurking on residential floors with salads the size of the once-planet Pluto? I starting panicking more. “Ummm heyy HAHAHA soo I’m trying to get rid of the salad and I, like, totally don’t know what to do? Do you have a bag or something HAHAHA??” I mumble, in a sad tone that came from a place in my brain that thought it was SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE to ask fashion royalty to DIG THROUGH THEIR TRASH for the poor, sad building staff. Fortunately this particular person is super nice and was willing to help. “Here, use this,” Chandler stated as they handed me a Coach shoe box with a thank you note inside that I couldn’t read quick enough, but I clearly know it was from some high-up fashion mogul that gifted them shoes from Paris fashion week. *le sigh*

After my salad was successfully disposed, and Chandler’s garbage was safely stowed in the trash room, we then shared an epically awkward elevator ride with minimal talking before bidding each other adieu. Overall, I don’t think I was necessarily my best self in this encounter, but I’m willing to take one for the team when at least an interesting story comes of it. And hey, next time you’re down on your luck or having a shitty day, you can think to yourself, “At least no one of societal importance thinks I eat my lunch alone in a trash room.” Right?