Each day this week, to commemorate our fifth birthday, Trainjotting is publishing memorable posts from the past, grouped under a specific Seven Deadly Sin. Today’s sin is WRATH. We sure have uncovered a lot of wrath during five years on the rails.
Previously ran May 2009
Please Tell Me Where You are So I Can Kill You
Not sure if it’s the case with other railroads around the world, but Metro-North has this knack for putting forth truly awful performances on the first day back from holiday breaks.
The 8:16 rolled in at the normal time this morning at Hawthorne, and all was fine until White Plains. Once all the Plainsers boarded at 8:28, the conductor got on the mic and said we had to sit for a bit due to a broken switch, as the train awaited orders as to which track it should proceed on.
We sat for about three minutes, until he got on the P.A. again and said we were ready to roll.
But still we sat for a few more minutes before proceeding toward Gotham.
Still, the ride was painstakingly slow. An older woman who looked like a cross-dressing Nancy Pelosi, bedecked in gold baubles and a silk scarf, applied layer after layer of makeup–the end result resembling a garden fence that’s gotten about eight coats of paint over the years.
The monotony was broken up by a man on a cellphone whose tone (and volume) went from restrained to almost hysterical. He was standing in the vestibule, just behind me in the last row. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him as he argued with someone on his phone. I took off the Bose headphones for a better listen, though I could hear him fine despite Bose’s cutting-edge noise reduction technology.
Far as I could tell, the person he was arguing with is the boyfriend of his baby mama, if we can slip into contemporary ghetto parlance for a split second.
“I was with her for eight years!” he yelled. “That’s my baby’s mother! She don’t even like you!”
The man got hotter and hotter, drawing the attention of most everyone in the car.
Then it got a little more ominous.
“If I catch you, I’m gonna kill you!” he yelled.
“Tell me where you at! I stay strapped too, niggah!”
“You have to die, son, if you around my daughter!”
The man on the other end apparently insisted he was avoiding the daughter; it’s a bit saddening to imagine this domestic scene, a woman’s boyfriend making considerable effort not to interact with a girl living in the same house so as to avoid angering the girl’s father, who lives elsewhere. Leave it to Beaver, it ain’t.
“How you not around my daughter if you livin’ with Mary?” yelled our fellow passenger.
Surely some on the train wondered if they should call the cops, especially if the dude indeed had a gun, as he’d said he did. I heard the conductor behind us and heading our way. The conductor seems like a hardy fellow; pleasant but no-nonsense, and I’d noticed some Go Army branding on his badge-holding neck strap this morning. Perhaps he’d nip this little issue in the bud–throw a little Semper Fi at the strapped straphanger.
“Sir,” I could hear the conductor say. “Sir?”
Alas, he was merely requesting a ticket from a slumbering rider, and walked on by the angry cellphone guy, who had seemed to quiet up a bit.
The man on the other end of the line had either launched a seriously foreboding counterattack, or said the magic words to pacifiy our fellow rider.
“Aiight, aiight,” cooed our friend. “You won’t see me, you won’t see me.”
He and his opponent then seemed to join forces against another man who was not lucky enough to be in on the conversation.
“He been driving my car. He stole my car!”
“He’s a bitch! My niggah, if I catch him, I’m gonna kill him. Every time he see me, he run the other way.”
It got quiet a moment later, and I slipped the Bose headphones back into place.
When we finally pulled into Grand Central at 9:14, a full 10 minutes late, I stood up and tried to get a look at Uneasy Rider. Pardon the racial profiling–I don’t think it was the pasty white 20-something kid in slacks or the doughy middle-aged man in a suit in the vestibule spewing the ghetto-speak–but I think I found the man: bi-racial, perhaps black and Hispanic, corn rows under a do-rag, long black t-shirt, baggy jeans hanging below the ass, a surprisingly preppy black and white checked knapsack over his shoulder.
We got off the train, where three of New York’s finest were walking up the platform, obviously looking for someone. Uneasy Rider put his head down and shuffled along, hit the concourse, and hung a left for the subways.
Back to freakin’ work.