October 14, 2011

I'm Probably Watching You

Fall has definitely arrived. It’s time for padded bras, hot toddies and butt warmers. But, as it were, Fall happens to be my favourite season because of the glorious smell, the crunchy leaves and the promise of Halloween. However, the cold weather also means that I’m probably getting lazy and my overall enthusiasm for getting places using my body (ie: walking and biking) has greatly diminished.  This unfortunately means that I am frequenting the Toronto subway more than I’d like.

I know I’ve touched upon this before, and those of you who know me have likely heard me lose my shit on more than one occasion when I recount my latest subway encounters.  Lucky for you, today is not just about me complaining about Mr. Standonyourfeetandtrytograbyourass or Mrs. Imighthavejustpoopedmyself, for yesterday I got to experience one of my favourite subway occurrences.

If you are at all familiar with the Toronto subway system (or any subway system, for that matter), you’ll know that the rate at which they open and close the train doors is completely random.  Sometimes they stay open for 6 seconds, and other times for 10 minutes. This has proven to make the population batshit crazy when operating in the godforsaken underground.  There’s a constant look of anger, panic and irritability smeared across everyone’s face. This is where I get the most pleasure out of walking with a smile. It’s a sneaky way to piss people off and I’ll admit it, sometimes I get pleasure out other people’s misery. (I don’t mean that I laugh at homeless people and play monkey-in-the-middle with heroin addicts’ needles…just a little harmless ‘ha. ha. ha. that bitch looks miserable and it’s probs because her iphone doesn’t get reception here.’)

Similar to that general sentiment, yesterday I was fortunate enough to sit in an unairconditioned, shitty, old subway car that decided to stay parked in the station for, let’s say, approximately 8 minutes. During these 8 minutes, I was lucky enough to be stuck next to a man with a stench too foul to describe. Let’s just say it was a disconcerting combination of sour, sweat and poop. Hungry yet? Me too.  This gentleman was also gracious enough to lend me some insight into his brain. This consisted largely of the word “fuck”, something that could have probably been mistaken for a dog throwing up and a string of words with no distinguishable association. What a dreamboat.

After deciding he was the man of my lesbian dreams, I took a few moments to glance around. Everyone was fucking miserable; I was as giddy as a schoolgirl.  Suddenly, this man flew through the open doors with a leap that would make a gazelle blush. I kept my eyes on him, because this, my friends, is the favourite experience I was talking about ^^ up there.

There is a moment, upon successfully landing in the train, where you will see the door-rusher congratulate themselves for making it through the doors. It may be subtle, it may be drastic, but I promise that it’s there.  On that glorious evening, with the 8 minutes of wait time, you can imagine how many of these self-congratulations I witnessed.  I can hear you asking ‘What do these people look like when they congratulate themselves? Do I do that?’ Please, let me enlighten you.

  • There’s the Sly-Smiler.  As soon as they clear the doors, a small, often one-sided smirk washes over their face. They feel pretty cool, and break into a casual swagger as they look for a seat. You can tell they’re thinking “Way to go, rockstar. You totally nailed it.”   
  • There’s the Over-Grinner.  Once these cheerful asshats clear the door, they look around the train to catch the eye of other travelers, to try and share the victory in this transcendent moment.  You can tell they’re thinking “Did you guys see that? Gee that was a close call! Typical Monday, AM I RIGHT, Girls?!”
  • There’s the Cool-Shit-Nodder. These cocky sons of bitches act like they own those doors; like the subway conductor was their own personal chauffeur and they just like to “live life on the edge” by barely clearing the doors. But they knew they’d make it. You can tell they’re thinking “Fucking duh, bro.”
  • There’s the Awkward-Winner. This last one is the toughest to spot and identify. Differing in many ways from the previous characters, the Awkward-Winner is weary of its triumph. As a result, you will often see them gazing down at some form of electronic device to appear distracted, aiming to divert the attention they just attracted through soaring through those doors. Keep watch, because a faint congratulatory smile will tickle the corners of their mouths in due course. You can tell they’ll be tweeting, “Almost got squished in the subway doors today… FML.”

Now that you’re aware of these classifications, and potentially reconsidering your general demeanor when entering a subway, let’s continue with my story.

As I sat in the stagnant subway car, a train coming from another direction must have pulled up. Herds of cattle people flooded from the staircase. Please take a moment to imagine my enjoyment and elation when, for approximately 8 minutes, I got to see people running for those doors like Jesus was having a book signing. Sometimes they were alone, sometimes in groups. Each of them sporting one of the above fuckle-puff reactions, only to realize that we were not going anywhere.
Celebrate that, easyrider.

And while it’s only going to continue to get colder, effectively guaranteeing that my subway time is going to increase immensely, it doesn’t seem so bad, so long as I’m keeping my eyes out for the door-rushers, and smiling at the miserable fucks as I reapply my lipgloss.
It’s strawberry, sunshine.