The circus train, the tracks to nowhere (meaning Main Street, Flushing), New York City's answer to the dark underbelly of the Las Vegas strip. All of these are metaphors for every New Yorker's favorite subway line - the #7 train. I traveled it today for the last time. I don't care if I have to take a bus, a cab, or walk skecthy, industrious Queens Boulevard. I'm not getting back on that route, ever.
Across from me was a man with gigantic headphones, chewing loudly with his mouth open, crunching on an entire bag of Munchos (of which he dumped every last crumb into his mouth) followed by the largest candy bar ever made, all washed down with a 2-liter coke. I thought I was going to be on Candid Camera any moment. This couldn't be real.
To my left there was a woman so obsessed that she'd miss her stop that she constantly had her body half turned toward the window behind us. (Apparently the window directly across from us was too inconvenient.) This caused her to practically sit in my lap the whole ride. I would have moved except the entire train was packed, no sitting or standing room.
To the right of me a woman was cursing at her boyfriend on the phone, ripping him apart limb from limb because he had had a long day at work, was going to fly to his parents' for vacation tomorrow, and thus didn't want to come all the way out to Flushing to meet her for dinner. "You haven't seen me for three days!" she screamed. GASP!! THREE DAYS??? How ever was she going to make it through??? Then she proceeded to tell him that he was copping an attitude and had better just calm down. She continually would hang up on him, bitch for a second or two to her clueless, stunned friend ("I mean am I WRONG here?"), then immediately call him back to yell at him some more. I wanted to grab the phone out of her hand and explain to this poor guy that there are 3.5 billion women in the world, about 4 million in NYC alone, and he should just get out now. Cut your losses, man.
The woman on my left finally got off the train and was replaced by another woman, this one chomping (again mouth open) on some noxious-smelling bag of fried somethings. Then the train lets us off at 111th Street, despite the fact that I need to go to Main Street and the train says "Manhattan to Main Street." Did I also mention that I was on what was supposed to be an express, and then midstream changed to a local? Two other #7s passed us by on the platform - "out of service for technical difficulties." Really? Going one hundred miles per hour in the very direction I need to go in doesn't look to me like a technical difficulty. Call me crazy...or just another member of the crowd on the 7.
(The picture above is from the following website: http://en.epochtimes.com/news_images/2007-1-7-subway.jpg).