People live longer now than they have at any other point in history, but what would I do with all that extra time?
A man walked by me on the street today and said, “Hello, miss. Have a nice day. You look so cool.”
I laughed and said thank you because it was so unexpected.
On the subway ride home, we were delayed for 30 minutes because of a sick passenger. After 5 minutes, people started to make rude comments aloud at the train conductor’s message updating us, apparently because it made them feel better. I thought about the guy from earlier that complimented me who was homeless. Then I thought back to all of the people that are considered crazy who have been nice to me and all of the people that are not who have treated me like garbage.
After being on my feet all day, and burning all those calories and not eating enough, really, to compensate because I thought I could just wait and eat at home, I started to get a little nauseous around minute 15. Minute 15 is when your brain starts to panic that you might have to stay on the train for a long time. What if you have to stand for an hour? Can you do it? What if you can’t do it? I think I was getting a little claustrophobic as well, which is easy to do because it was a crowded train and we were underground and I was standing and at a certain point you can no longer tune out the other people even if you have your headphones on. The air starts to feel really heavy with everyone’s annoyed breathing and anger.
I gripped the pole like an old lady and let my knees bend a little because the only time I have ever passed out was because I was standing with my legs straight for a long time. We were at a bar. I remembered the guy that offered me his cocktail to revive me, I guess, which I drank without thinking.
To my right was a construction worker, probably 45, a little overweight, that was clearly in some pain. We were both sighing and rocking back and forth on our sore feet. In the seats in front of us there were two kids in their 20s, playing games on their phones. The construction worker would occasionally lean too far forward by mistake and his lunch bag would hang in the face of one of the kids. The kid looked insulted but maintained his unnecessarily leaning-too-far-forward seated position. He felt entitled, very much, to his seat. I thought, if I were sitting where you are, I would get off my ass and give my seat to this man who worked hard all day. I started to wonder about why people didn’t do that. Really? A high school student sitting while a nurse stands? And I like little kids but I hate to see them sitting in the seats. Kids should have to stand. Their bodies are working at the optimal rate.
At minute 20, some guy over my shoulder in a suit made the comment that if the EMTs were taking this long, the guy would be dead already when they got there. I think: Thank you for introducing death into everyone’s mind, you dick. Then I remember the one time I was on a train with a sick passenger. A guy passed out and hit his head on the seat, presumably from standing too long because that was another really crowded train where it was hot and hard to breathe. He looked like he was in good shape. Just keeled over all of a sudden.
The kid sitting in front of me started to put on some eyeliner around minute 25. Oh good, I think. I’m glad you have this seat so you can do that. I pulled out my water bottle and drank the last couple of sips. She crossed her legs so that her foot was an inch away from my shin. She felt entitled, very much, to this space for her foot.
Five minutes later the train slowly lurched forward. I looked around and everyone’s faces were so miserable that I had to bite my cheek to stop myself from smiling.
At the next stop, the kids got off. The construction worker and I sat down next to each other.
"Man oh man," he said to me, sighing with relief. "I didn’t think I was gonna make it one more minute. Now, now, tell me, can you believe that?” He asked, incredulously, gesturing in the air. “Can you?”
I laughed at this, at his face twisted up in disgust.
"If one of them got up, I was gonna give you the seat," he said. "I was gonna let you have it."
our desire let us run into grass and gale and sharp wire
fences into long crumbling afternoons let us run even
back into what we thought was home into the barn
even when even though sometimes as now the barn
be made only entirely by fire
—Leslie Harrison, [dear god i ask]
This was the first thing I took a picture of this morning and I ended up feeling like this grump all day.
A relative of two-year old Palestinian Salma Radiya killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell in the north of the Gaza Strip holds her body at the morgue of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia on July 23, 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry said global efforts to end 16 days of bloodshed in Gaza were progressing as the fighting raged on and airlines suspended flights over rocket fears. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI
It’s so pathetic how American politicians act like they are powerless to stop this. Really? This has been happening for 16 days. The US stands with Israel and it’s disgusting.