Riding the train every morning is an adventure. I never know what to expect nor do I have a clue how long it will be delayed. Luckily this gives me enough time to think up an excuse as to why I dragged my tired feet in 15 minutes late to work. While much of the train riding experience is unexpected, the people we see on a New York and New Jersey transit system never change.
The Old Woman Too Polite to Ask for Your Seat
The rule goes “women and children first” when giving up seats and life rafts. Never putting myself in a situation where a life raft would be something I would need to enter, my main concern involves seats on a train. I always stand because there are some darling old women too polite to ask for your seat. These women are incredibly sweet and humble so they deserve some recognition for their traditional yet submissive ways. Growing up in the era they did, they are probably used to constant suffering.
The Old Woman Too Rude to Say “Excuse Me”
A reciprocal of the polite woman is the one willing to drop an elbow into your chest and a knee into your kidney just to grab one of the few available seats. In New York there are far more people than seats available. It’s a real battle a lot of the time and getting to your destination without any bruises is a real accomplishment some days.
The Guy with a Bike/Scooter/Other Oversized Traveling Device
Only a lucky few people take one form of transportation onto another. Thanks to an influx of health-conscience people living in New York you can almost always find someone with a large metal object on the train with you. These devices take up lots of space and are known to cause foot injuries when they fall down. Not accompanied with your foot injury is an apology from the hipsters who brought this unnecessary contraption onto the train.
The Attractive Girl that Never Looks Your Way
Every train car has at least one girl capable of making your heart skip a beat. Beauty so pure, fresh, and original that you feel lucky to be of the same species as her, this female would rather read the same small advertisement than maintain eye contact with you for more than those two regretful seconds; or maybe it’s just me.
The Skinny IT Guy with a Huge Backpack
Shaped like a skinny turtle with a giant shell, the skinny IT guys with huge backpacks are some of the worst to stand next to on the train ride to work. Not only are you usually get smacked with their oversized bags, you are also getting punched in the nose with the awful stench coming from their armpits (more on this later). Maybe if they carried a little bit less to the job it wouldn’t be such a sweat-inducing workout.
The Not Nearly as Attractive Girl that Still Never Looks Your Way
The distant relative of the attractive girl has one thing in common with the much more attractive version of herself: the need to avoid making eye contact with us. Okay, maybe again this is just me who experiences the dead-eyed stare from them the moment she regrets making brief eye contact with me.
The Smelly Blue Collar Worker
After getting off work, sometimes even before, the blue collar workers like to show off their armpit sweat and paint-stained coveralls. The after-work smell is excusable. After all, these men work hard. However they seem to forget about the existence of noses and there is no active effort to at least try to smell like a rose; even a dead one. There’s at least one of these on every train and they usually use a cooler as a seat when everything is full.
The Smelly IT Guy
Laborious jobs aren’t the only ones that can make a man break out into a horrible stench. All trains also seem to be flooded with computer geeks smelling like something dead. Usually they arrive on the train in large numbers too so you never know which one to be angry with. Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do other than make a huge scene and hope they get off the train embarrassed and never leave home again without doubling down on deodorant.
Check your wallet, pants, and soul because the oddball riding on the train with you has the capability of stealing them all in the blink of an eye. He may have a strangely designed jacket or something alien growing out of the top of his head. Really the limitations are endless. Whatever it is on him that clearly makes him the oddball, it’s important you avoid him. He may always try to strike up a conversation too as people like this have no dignity. Your best bet is to give short replies. Make the oddball think you are the one with the problem and they may leave you alone.
The Person that Did Nothing Wrong yet You Hate Their Face
A poor innocent bystander in your hellish trip to work is the person that did nothing wrong yet you hate their face. You can’t quite figure out where your anger for this person comes from, but it’s certainly there. However unwarranted this hatred you have for this stranger is, it can be nearly impossible to remove. Remember that they are not responsible for your unpleasant trip to work and really no one else on the train is too. It’s your fault for not being able to afford a million dollar condo in Manhattan with a limousine driver.