Thursday, September 17, 2009


we have all been there. we have all been tired on the subway home.
we have seen the person sitting there, his/her head nodding, hanging next to his/her shoulder.
then suddenly, the head pops up, then the drooping begins again. yes. we have all seen it. we have all tensed up when the person next to us starts slowly leaning... nodding... then BOOM they sit up. however, apparently, this isn't always the case. apparently, sometimes, the sleep just takes over.
such was the case with a gentleman on the N train last Monday.

I had class Monday night, i walked to on station, and transferred at the next. when i got on i thought "oh lovely, a whole empty bench." then i looked. and there, sprawled out on the "empty" bench was a man. lying down. sleeping. legs up on the bench. he was wearing nice clothes! pants, nice shoes, a shirt and tie. I'm not talking grocery cart at his side, no shoes, unshowered for months. i am talking on his way home from work look! anyway, there was enough space on both ends for people to sit. so i sat near his head, and the guy who walked on with me sat near his feet (we exchanged a look of "what the fuck" and a laugh when first we saw).
And readers, you may be shocked that i DID indeed sit down near this mans head, but when you are reading a good book, nothing will stop you from pulling it out of your bag and sitting down to read.
So I sat. I looked at the guy out of the corner of my eye and suddenly thought "what if this guy is DEAD!?" so i immediately stopped reading, put my book on my lap, and looked at his chest. I'm thinking "OK, I'll have to SAY something if this guy isn't breathing." and i figured the guy sitting near his feet and i could discuss the situation. so i stare at his chest... up, down, up down. OK phew. he was breathing. so i continued with my reading, occasionally catching glances with the guy on the other end- like we were sharing something with this sleeper.
With each person who came on, I liked to see their reactions to sleeping man. some made faces, some acted as if there was nothing there.
Then, my friends, around Queensboro plaza, i suddenly hear snoring. this guy was OUT. i mean, who SNORES when they are catching a few winks on the train? you'd think it was 3 am, lights out, quiet house the way this guy was carrying on. and NOTHING woke him. not the sudden jerking of the train as it stopped, not the announcements with each stop. NOTHING. I was kind of nervous that the guy at his feet was going to get off at a stop before mine, and was rather pleased when he was still on at my stop, which is the LAST STOP on the line. when we got up, feet man kind of tapped sleeping man on the leg as if to say "OK buddy, this is it" did sleeping man move? nope.

For all I know, he is still lying there.

No comments: