Tuesday, July 12, 2005

With Great Wrath and Furious Anger

Last night it was hellfire and toaster-oven hot; I’m talking baked to a golden brown, molten center of the earth, drop-it-like-it’s hot. I braved the (liquefying) pavement and the unbearable subway to visit Kai’s apartment after work and consequently had to take a much later train home after we went to dinner.

Of course, the MetroNorth railroad being the stalwart of efficiency and customer service that it is, only three cars out of the six cars on my train had working air conditioning. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the windows opened in the climate uncontrolled cars, but the truth was that riding in the hot cars would’ve been like climbing into one of those public service ads aimed at delinquent teenage mothers and instructing them on how not to suffocate their children by leaving them in the car when they run into the supermarket. Or to buy condoms, this time.

I got to the train sufficiently early to get a seat, a prime seat, a front row seat to the horrible tango between the half of the train walking forwards to find a seat, and the other half of the train walking backwards because there aren’t any left. One, two, together. One, two, fuck you buddy, I’ll see for myself if there’s a seat or not. One, two, squish by the guy who won’t move. One, two, I guess he’s just going to stand in the aisle for the entire ride to Poughkeepsie. One, two, have it your way, douchebag.

By the time the train started moving, there were still people (mainly families of tourists) who insisted they would find an oasis of empty seats in another car, but to anyone who rides this horrible train regularly it was pretty apparent that there was one cool seat left, and that it was next to the old, old man sitting in front of me. A wily commuter slipped past a family lamenting their return to the fiery pit of the fourth car and descended on the old man. “Mind if I sit here,” he asked.

“I have a cold, I wouldn’t recommend it,” the old, old guy answered.

The commuter stared at him like he had three heads. There was one decent seat left on the entire train, and this guy was worried about a little rhinovirus? I’m writing from the train right now (this laptop thing is a miracle) and on the seatback in front of me I can identify what looks like at least two bodily fluids, not to mention stickers removed from another laptop, one I am choosing to believe was not stolen from its owner and then stripped of identifying markers. Anyway, my point is that if you take this train every day, the guy next to you having a cold ranks about as important as global warming, in that it is vaguely terrifying in some remote section of your brain, but one that is so remote it doesn’t get any say in your day to day.

The commuter smiled and tried to sit down, the universal sign for tolerance in its most pure form (that of another’s mucus potentially getting on, like, your face), but the old guy would not relent. The commuter gave up, and walked past.

He didn’t get but two seats away when Leonard, as I was to learn the old, old guy’s name was, began offering the seat next to him to other passengers. The only difference between the commuter and the passengers he was hand-selecting? The commuter was black.

The man eventually gave his seat to the extraordinarily young wife and stepmother of an extraordinarily sweaty man and pipsqueaky kid, respectively, details I learned from the loud conversation I was treated to for the duration of my ride back to Cortlandt. Leonard and Bridget, the wife, hit it off really well. They both found the black woman who got on at 125th street unbelievably funny. They both like London. They both hate L.A. They both had been to Gotham Bar and Grill in the last week.

They both needed to be punched so hard they’d have to relearn the alphabet.

There isn’t enough wreaking going on, here in the double-oh-five. If my gravestone is to read anything, I’d want it to say Kathy Cacace: She wreaked a solid amount of vengeance. It’s times like last night when I’m upset that I can’t pull a sword from my bag, point it to the sky, summon a flurry of lightning bolts and thunder claps, and, as the clouds gather and swirl over my head and the wind makes my hair do that She-Ra thing, and as my potential smitee quakes at my feet and maybe begins to leave a stain in his Dockers that runs right down to his support socks and orthopedic sneakers, I begin to wreak some serious vengeance.

I’m pretty positive I wouldn’t feel bad about actually making a head roll.

I’m at 125th street, which means I’ve got roughly ten minutes until I have to run off this train, run across the main concourse of Grand Central, run down the stairs to the subway, and position myself for prime seat pouncing. It also means I’ve just realized that I have no idea how the hell I’m going to get this onto my work computer. Maybe there’s magic wireless.

If not, the sword’s coming out of the bag.

3 Comments:

Blogger ktiv said...

I feel your pain(well, I guess I should say I feel your sweat, but that sounds kinda gross, so let's just leave it at pain). My school is seriously sweltering, and I don't even have any racist old people to poke fun at.

12:32 PM  
Blogger DMo said...

It seems to be H-O-T in all corners of the globe. Last night, I was a little confused as to whether I was sitting in my own home or a new level of hell, yet to be named by Dante or whomever.

In fact, the relentless heat was the subject of my bitching today, too.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous mombi said...

you're kind of in to this "smiting" thing. i'm starting to worry. but it's too hot to worry about you, and too hot to worry about racist assholes in ny, i will worry instead about my electric bill this month. did i mention the CENTRAL AIR in Rob's "other" room? Must be 72 in there right about now, dontchaknow.

hurricane dennis is on the way... in kentucky now, should be here any time now. damn, brad's beans need some rain!

2:28 PM  

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