05 April 2013

Subway Triple Header

I was waiting for the L at 6th Ave the other night, as I so often do. I place myself on the platform where I need to be in order to get on the car that's closest to the best exit (or transfer) at whatever stop I'm getting off. That's the kind of planner I am. Some people would say that's the kind of New Yorker I am, the kind that knows the right car for the right exit or transfer.

Right at that place on the platform, which happens to be next to a set of stairs, a musician was entertaining the straphangers, as they so often do. I suppose they stand at that place on the platform because the stairwell gives them a sort of backdrop; musicians set up in about the same place on the Union Square L platform.

Even when I can't stand the music, or am just straight up not in the mood for busking or aggressive drum banging, I still stand in that same spot on the platform, waiting for my train car to come. But this guy, this guy I liked. I liked him a lot. Enough to peek around him for some clue as to his name. This man was a looper. He beat boxed a beat, and looped it. Then he played the trumpet for a bit, then looped that on top of the beat box. Then he played more trumpet over those loops, and it sounded like the fucking Blade Runner soundtrack (I know that's a sax). He hadn't even set up his little money basket before a lady came up to give him money. I don't know if I've ever been impressed enough to consider skipping the next train to keep listening, but the thought crossed my mind here.

When the train came and I did get on, I regretted it after a moment. I should have listened to that impulsive part of myself imploring me to stay and listen a little longer. I got on a car with a particularly aromatic homeless man. Specifically, he smelled like shit. I feel sad as I type this, thinking about this poor man who was covered in his own shit, who maybe didn't even have the mental wherewithal to realize or care. A couple of people turned around and got off the train as soon as they walked on, but I sat. I thought it would be cruel to walk out, to essentially say that I can't stand to be in proximity to this person.

So I waited, and at the next stop I got off that car and went into the next car over.

After a minute on that car, I wished I was back in the other one. I ended up standing right next to  a young Asian man who was preaching. Not to anyone in particular, as they so often do. He seemed to be talking about watching television, or rather, not watching television, or just bad television, ungodly television. I caught him after he began so I can't be sure. He got off one or two stops later, so I didn't hear a whole lot from him, but what I did hear counts: his blog address, which he repeated several times before he got off. It's not necessarily an easy one to remember, which struck me as quite amusing because here he was imploring/encouraging people to visit his blog for more preaching, just sort of shouting out the blog name, and no one will ever remember it, except maybe me because well, being so struck by the strangeness, I remembered. I didn't even write it down. It's here, if you want it. Sort of lame/boring/incoherent analyses of bible passages. I was hoping for some crazy ramblings, but he wasn't all that crazy a rambler in person so I suppose I may have set my expectations too high. There're some good examples of Christian Crazy here, if yr lookin'.

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