Ride at Your Own Risk, Revisited

Dear Tri-State Area,

I thought we had finally come to an agreement, you and I. You would continue on as always and I would try to traverse more calmly through, below and around you. Unfortunately, we arrived today at an impasse aboard the pre-commute Uptown E train. For while calmly debarking the car, and following all codes of conduct as outlined in the Unofficial Book of Train Riding Protocol, which states, per Article I, that all “Local riding patrons should rise only once the car has arrived in the station; file orderly out of the central space between open doors; keep personal belongings and limbs close to the body as riders waiting to board the car part like the Red Sea,” I fell victim to an atrocious and unforgivable riding faux pas.

A very fat woman and an Asian man with an equally fat suitcase began their boarding, coming at me from both sides, like massive sea walls collapsing before the final Israelite could complete her crossing into the Promise Land (That’s me!) And with every ounce of calm I have slowly been cultivating during the past three years in New York, I continued onward and outward. This tactic has worked for me before; many riders will correct their egregious behavior by taking one step back when you resist. However, these two Goliaths were so set on moving into the damn car with their oversized selves that, from the depths within my soul, something stirred. And a full-sized New Yorker emerged. And, leaning forward and pushing with more force, I yelled at those a*holes with my hardest, baddest, streetest tone: WILL YOU RELAX FO A MINUTE!?

Which brings me back to my point, Tri-State Area, that you’ve got me all hot and bothered. Because just when I thought I could keep you at bay, you seem to have seeped into me. And the truth is, even though I’m a little scared by this phenomenon, I also kind of like it. Because as I triumphantly marched toward the escalator, headphones and pride still in tact, I listened; nobody was yelling back.

Apparently Yours Truly,
Your NewNewYorker

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