People like to shit on the subway system here in New York, but they are usually homeless.
Personally, I love riding the subway. It’s the perfect time to catch up on some reading, listen to some music, pretend you’re pregnant to get a seat (lunch from Chipotle and a strategically placed hand usually does the trick), practice your eye contact avoidance skills, and, of course, it remains hands down my number one favorite place to cry shamelessly in front of an audience of strangers.
However, despite the fact that there are supposedly a lot of people in this city, and subway schedules are, shall we say, less than predictable, you can always count on those creepy underground tunnels to push you directly into the sweaty arms of that one person you planned on never, ever, EVER seeing again. Like, ever. (Oh, shut up, Taylor Swift.)
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh god, I hope it’s not me that Alyssa is trying to avoid!” You can hope all you want, but, it is you. It is DEFINITELY you.
Don’t worry, though. You’re not alone. There are actually a bunch of unacceptable freakshows who escaped from their cages at Animal Planet that I’m actively hiding from at all times. Unfortunately for me, they all spend an inordinate amount of time underground.
This past weekend, I was riding my beloved subway train, listening to NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC 6 (I can’t figure out how to work iTunes), and I was singing the classic Shaggy hit, “It Wasn’t Me,” out loud so the other passengers didn’t feel left out. They all stared at me, gratefully. I hopped out at 42nd Street, and tackled some tourists waiting for nothing on the platform.
I noticed a small crowd had formed, supposedly in front of a street performer, and I wormed my way through those idiots so I could get to the stairs and also grab a few of their wallets. And then, I saw him. The street performer. He looked very familiar to me but at first, I couldn’t place him. And then I realized: it was my ex-boyfriend.
We made eye contact, and he sort of half-opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but then just kept playing his saxophone while people tossed what looked like melted Hanukkah gelt into his hat, and I continued up the stairs. I though back to the time when we were together, and he told me it was always his dream to make it as a musician.
And, I mean, I just couldn’t be prouder.