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It seems that all the subway tales I hear have to do with bodily by-products of some form or another. My favorites involve pee. My most excellent first-hand pee tale involves the 145th Sreett 1/9 station. Anyone who's ever spent the time and effort to make that train your friend knows the evil red line designers decided that simplicity was not the best answer to rush hour in Washington Heights. No sir. So they came up with something called Skip-Stop. What skip-stop means is that the 1 & the 9 alternate station stops after a certain point... I always forget what point that is, probably because I've only lived up there briefly, and on a floor for that matter, and haven't put the effort into learning it, but certainly by 145th they're in full swing.

So: the whole key to this tale and the reason I'm describing this travesty of judgement is that 145th is not an express station, but it does have trains skipping the station. The difference you ask? In an express station there are two (sometimes more) middle tracks that the trains skipping the station run on... this is to avoid the train flying past people standing two feet away. 145th ain't got this, and lordy was it taken advantage of one fine Monday morning.

There I am, stuck in a turnstile thingie trying to talk the MetroCard reader into saying something other that Please swipe again when all of a sudden I hear a train approaching... Frantically hurrying my efforts to get past the devilish device (you love it when it works, you curse it when it doesn't) only results in Too fast, please swipe again. As I begin to whimper, the train begins to fly through the station... Relief washes over me - the train is skipping - I couldn't have caught it anyway... Unngh... It worked, I'm through...! Happily smiling to myself I reinsert the trusty card into my wallet and look up in time to watch the most stunning sight imaginable to my feeble pre-coffee eyes... Some rakish looking gentleman, grinning like mad, standing between the cars as it speeds by the platform: cock out, very noticable stream of urine extended from his happy member, splashing every single last sad and dejected commutter waiting for the train to stop - some, i'm afraid, right in the face.

And then it's gone.

Followed by stunned silence, and one solitary moan, "Oh my god."

And then a long line of people turning away from the platform to go home and change.

A few weeks ago, I finally saw what I believe was a crackhead.

My friend Kate and I were waiting in the DWA at Broadview Station for our friends Antonia and Avery to show up so we could venture off to the west end to a party together. Kate was hammered and we were telling each other anecdotes from our week of work when a skinny little guy came down the stairs.

He wasn't walking, he was lunging around with his arms swinging near the edge of the platform. At first I believed he may be drunk, only he wasn't slow like someone'd be if they were. He was agile and seemed elastic in his movements. I doubted he was a loon because he was interested in my friend and I. I honestly think he was altered.

I became concerned that he may jump in front of the next train but I was soon made very aware of his thoughts and they were quite contrary, provoking other fears.

He started to stare at my friend and I and he was humming some sort of tune to himself. He pointed at me, took a deep breath and sang:

Bitch, your mouth looks nice, 
Bitch, let's get it on tonight.
So nice was his suggestive body language, his wiggling tongue and crotch grabbing. He kept pulling up his shirt and pinching his nipples and rubbing his chest while singing more.

Let me show you a good time,
Gonna fuck you from behind.
He slid and then crouched next to the spot on the bench I was sitting on in one swift movement. My heart was pounding and I stood up and walked over next to the bench where Kate was sitting and moved her liquor off the bench. There were bags of garbage next to that side of the bench and he'd have to sit in that if he wanted to be that close to us.

"Kate... Let's go."

She told me to ignore him. I shot her an evil glance.


Bitch, spread your legs for me.
C'mon and let me in you, please.
I looked at Kate straight in the eyes, noting that she was wearing far too much makeup. All of the pores in her cheeks were clogged with powder and her lips were meticulously painted red hours ago, but some of the colour was feathering off onto her skin.

She burped. I swear, I saw green smoke come out of her mouth.

"Tequila." She announced.

I sighed.

Antonia and Avery then rounded the corner with the heads of puppets that were to be used later on that evening (a long story- I learned my friends were very odd that night) and the crackhead became distracted. Ave's hand was up the backside of a beat up koala wearing a vintage David Bowie t-shirt and he was waving at him. Antonia had a Sid Vicious paper bag puppet and was waving along beneath the bear.

The crackhead paced around and moaning and watching the impromptu puppetshow. He was probably wondering what the hell was going on around him, all confused and paranoid like.

I could hear a train rumbling out from the east. A blessing, but if he was going to jump, he may have done it then then and all I could think of was just how fucked up the past fifteen minutes were and how I would not want to watch anything brutal like him leaping in front of the train.

I suggested to Kate we walk together down the platform once the train approached the station, so that we'd get into a different car than he and got up. She was watching him pace and followed my lead to a different area on the platform, collecting my puppeteer friends along the way.

I love North America's cleanest and safest transit system.
Tonight, as I traveled to meet fellow noders for a nice dinner and bar-hop, I sat peacefully on the G train, lost in my thoughts. At the first stop following my own, a large but young hispanic kid (20ish?) got on. He was wearing a green coat, and carried a light blue backpack. I noticed him carefully look around the car, after which he sat down.

He then proceeded to take off his coat and turn it inside out. The inside was blue. He put it back on. Ah, I thought to myself, a reversable coat. How clever. Next, he opened up his backpack, and removed the sole item held within- a ski cap. He put it on and pulled it down far, so that it almost hid his eyes. Ah, I thought to myself, that's not a bad hat. Finally, he turned the backpack inside out, and zipped it back up. Now it was a red backpack. Having changed his appearance totally, he proceeded to get off at the next stop, and get right back on, only this time into the next car up. Ah, I thought to myself, someone's running from the law.

I love New York.

When I was younger, perhaps about 16, I was sitting on the two separated seats at the end of an R train. A grungy looking guy sitting in the 2 seats across from me had a newspaper in his lap. He unfolded it and held it so that it shielded what he was doing from the rest of the people in the car. After that I noticed that he had unzipped his pants and began jerking off, for my eyes only. I got up and moved eventually.

I only wish this would have happened much later on in life when I had developed balls (not literally, kids). Today, I would have ripped the paper away for all to see his nasty deed and thoroughly embarrassed him, perhaps also taking the opportunity to spill a drink on him or something.

This still gives me the heebie jeebies thinking about it.
*shudder*

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