Sunday, July 03, 2016

Shuttle Shuffle

I took the longest shuttle ride in MTA history, but I ended up in a good place.

The shuttle train ride that connects Grand Central Terminal with Times Square is normally so brief I usually don’t even bother sitting down.

It’s like—what? Five minutes?

And then you’re on the opposite end of 42nd Street, ready to go home, catch a train, see a show or do any of a million other things there are to do this town.

But it was little different on Thursday.

I’m taking a fabulous writing course in Park Slope so one night a week I skip my normal Express Bus ride home for a simmering slice of subterranean slime.

It just seems that my week isn’t complete without the filth, the noise and the freaks that make riding our fair city’s subway system such a unique experience. And Thursday was a standout indeed.

I boarded a shuttle at Grand Central and decided to go against tradition by taking a seat across the way from this heavyset young man with earphones stuffed into his head.

People kept filing onto the train and we were seconds way from pulling out when this fellow started “singing” at the top of his voice.

I put singing in quotes because the noise was so awful that I feel like I’m offending singers all over the world, including the karaoke cretins and people who practice hog calling in the shower.

The guy was wailing out some kind of ballad, but it was atrocious. And I was getting angrier and angrier with this fat bastard who was crapping up my crosstown commute.

Of course complaining was out of the question, since I didn’t feel like getting beaten up or killed over such a lousy singer.

Pull My Finger

I suppose it’s a waste of time to ask what the hell is wrong with people, but I’ll ask anyway. What the hell is wrong with people?

Do they honestly think that everyone else will be entertained by their senseless screeching?

Are they so desperate for attention that they’ll do anything to have people look at them—even if those people are glaring at them with unrestrained loathing?

I didn’t feel like giving up my seat, partially because I was tired, and partially because I didn’t want to risk offending this loon in case he might storm after me and do an encore while standing on my chest.

He quieted down as three people took seats around us and tried to have a conversation. However, the shuttle man cranked up again, prompting the group to fall silent and stare at this loser in disbelief.

By this time I was fuming, cursing the fates, my luck, and most of all this palooka for failing to keep his yap shut.
But I’m trying everything I can to rein in the anger and one of the ways I’ve been doing is using a procedure called Jin Shin Jystsu that seeks to harness the body’s energy flows.

I only have a rudimentary knowledge of this fabulous system but one thing I do know is that when the anger takes over you, grab your middle finger—appropriate, no?—and hold on to it until the rage subsides

I did that on Thursday and found that I wasn’t mad at the shuffle crooner anymore. The rage I had been feeling just drifted away.

As we pulled into Times Square this fellow announced that he was accepting donations, which was strange because most MTA musical acts come to you for the money.

I’ve seen entire mariachi bands move between subway cars in search of loose change. This guy would’ve made more money and dropped a few pounds if he had gotten off his keester and walked through the train.

But he was clearly a mountain comes to Mohammad kind of guy, who gave us some important advice.

“Be positive,” he said, “test negative!”

I had to laugh and I had to give him a buck for his efforts, which was important since no one else gave him anything.

So I was able to get hold of the anger and actually find some fun in a tight situation. I know I’m still very impatient, but at least I can put my finger on the problem.

8 comments:

Bijoux said...

I actually felt anger reading about your encounter! Maybe I need to work on my middle finger?

Rob K said...

It couldn't hurt! :)

Ron said...

" the noise was so awful that I feel like I’m offending singers all over the world, including the karaoke cretins and people who practice hog calling in the shower."

OMG Rob, I laughed my ass off when I read that! In fact, I found myself laughing through this whole post - you're freakin' HILARIOUS! I could actually see this all happening to you as you were describing it.

Also, I found it very interesting to read about Jin SHin Jystsu and holding on to your middle finger. I will definitely try that the next time I'm feeling angry or annoyed...

" grab your middle finger—appropriate, no?"

HAHAHAHHAHA!

So glad to hear that you were able to turn this situation around and discover the positive in it, by changing your perception. Bravo!

" I know I’m still very impatient, but at least I can put my finger on the problem."

Brilliant ending!

Have a terrific week, buddy! And Happy 4th of July!

valerie said...

i can't believe you're taking a writing class. you're already a brilliant writer and your writing always draws me in and makes me feel like i'm part of the action.

never heard about pulling the middle finger. showing it yes, but i would never do that. ;)

Rob K said...

Oh, that's so kind of you, Val, but this woman is really amazing. I should probably do a post about her, but basically is structured so that we write in real time with a simple prompt. It's amazing what you can come up with when you just let of go of all your inhibitions.

And I would encourage to check some websites about Jin Shin Jystsu. It's incredible.

Rob K said...

@Hey, Ron, Happy Independence Day! Thanks for the lovely comments! Jin Shin is really cool and even you just get the basic finger patterns down I think you'll be amazed at the results!

Take care, buddy!

A Cuban In London said...

Next time, join the crooner. He/She will shut up in no time. No one likes being upstaged! :-)

Greetings from London.

Rob K said...

Brilliant idea, brother!