The Elitist Anarchist

He sits across from you, one earplug in, as he espouses on the failings of the world – and you – and begrudgingly takes your five dollars. “You are wrong. Nobody has said anything dumber.” He’s out of tobacco and would like to squat your living room for the winter.

He rambles on, first about the barter system, then on the meaning of work until he starts a full tirade on the failure of representational government, everything you need to know and how you can change, all that just by being like him. He ambles off, briefly holding back the subway doors just for the fuck of it, and vanishes up the stairs.

The Approximation of Something

It’s his foot. It’s not just his foot. It’s his intention. He sees me running to catch the subway. I’m going to miss it. But he swings his foot out, a big construction boot, and blocks the doors. The conductor repeatedly tries to close them, but the boot is there. And I am on.

He’s a small Latino guy, a brown construction helmet hanging from his backpack along with a level almost his height. I thank him but he says nothing. He seems indifferent. But he isn’t. I know that. He goes back to quietly talking to his friend as the train leaves the station.

New York Subway Scenes: The Days of Covid-19

Hassidic Elder: I hate these masks.

Middle-aged Non-Hassidic: I hear you.

Hassidic Elder: In the street! Even in the street.

Middle-aged Non-Hassidic: It will pass.

Hassidic Elder: Next they’ll be strip searching us.

Middle-aged Non-Hassidic: All things will pass.

Hassidic Elder: I hate it.

Middle-aged Non-Hassidic returns to reading his paper.

It’s a half-crowded train on the AM rush hour. Everyone wears a mask. The train pulls into Fulton Station where more people get on, masked except for a slight black woman. A policeman comes to door of train. She looks up, ready to argue. The policeman offers her a mask. “Would you like this?” She smiles sheepishly, takes it and puts it on.

Rosie Perez comes on the intercom as the train pulls out. Wearing a mask shows respect to others. And it’s the law. Come on, New York, we can do this.

Stylish and Angry On the Subway

“What you lookin’ at? Who said you could look at me like that, sir?” He was young, maybe 25, with a stylish felt hat and two bright gold studs. “Who do you think you are? You know what would happen if you did that in the hood? I’ll tell you what would happen. First I’d get up in your faceā€¦”

Like everyone on the subway, Micaela and I hoped the stylish young man would stop yelling at the 60-year-old on the bench opposite.Stylish and Angry On the Subway

“And then I’d fuck your daughter, man–”

That was too much. “Okay, that’s enough.”

He flashed his eyes at me, trying to mock. “Let me make my point, man! I’m making my point!”

“You’re yelling profanities on the subway.”

He smirked, pulling one of his earplugs half out. “If we was in the hood, me and my goons would fuck you up.”

“Just listen to your music and leave everyone alone.”

“In the fuckin’ hood–”

“Enough of that.” Another man stepped in, and the stylish young man quieted down, only chuckling to himself.

An uneasy silence fell over the car. I told Micaela about being spied on at the conference and tried to make it funny.Stylish and Angry On the Subway

“I’m trying to make a point, man!” The stylish young man suddenly stood and glared at me with crazy eyes. “Let me tell you about the fucking hood, man.”

“People just want to go home after working.” It seemed I was stuck with him now. “They don’t want to be yelled at.”

“I don’t want to be paid by you, man! I don’t want your money.”

“You’re yelling profanities on the subway.”

“You don’t pay me, man! I don’t want your money!”

First one voice and then another spoke out. “Stop it! Nobody wants to hear you!”

“In the hood, I’d get my goons–”

“Nobody cares!” A distant voice snapped.

“I’m trying to make a point. I don’t need you people ganging up on me. I don’t need that. In the hood–”

The subway doors open behind me, and the stylish young man came past. He didn’t even look at me, at anybody, and instead to yelling on the platform. “I’m trying to make a point, man. You can’t fuckin’ look at me like that, man!”Stylish and Angry On the Subway

New York Street Artist Performs Mock Crucifixion at Jamaica Station

We were coming home from the airport last night, waiting for the E train at Jamaica Station, but the wait wasn’t bad. New York Street Artist Performs Mock Crucifixion at Jamaica StationA street artist, in a helmet horned with fiberglass, performed a crucifixion of sorts with odd moaning music in the background, as the passing people gaped and laughed. (Click to view!!)New York Street Artist Performs Mock Crucifixion at Jamaica StationThe message was unclear, except that street art helps pass the time.New York Street Artist Performs Mock Crucifixion at Jamaica Station