I’ve noticed a lot of crazy people on the subway lately. I realize that’s not exactly a bold statement in New York. We see crazy people every day. They’re like wallpaper in this
asylum city. There’s a guy who stands on the corner by my house calling out, “God bless the living and the dead,” to every passerby. If you give him a cigarette he’ll recite a poem about you and “the one you love.”
A few months ago, I saw a woman just down the street, engaged in a very animated conversation…with a discarded office chair. (Come to think of it, I should have taken that chair. My chair sucks. It’s just a plastic folding chair that sits at my desk. If any kindhearted reader wanted to give me a gift, I’d love a good chair. Or a happy ending. Six of one, really…)
Over the last few weeks, though, I’ve noticed an uptick in the frequency of the nutjobs I’ve been seeing. And no, I’m not even including this guy. Misguided, maybe, but I have no evidence that’s he calls his bedroom window “TV” or thinks the subway is actually his living room. I, do, however, mean this lady:
I only captured 2 minutes of it, but this went on from Atlantic Avenue (and some time before that, because she was already going when I got on) all the way to Union Square. My favorite part is her button that says “Ask Me Why I’m a Seventh Day Adventist.” Apparently someone did.
A few weeks later, there was the dude who, in hindsight, may not have been crazy, just drunk. I mean, he was definitely drunk, it’s just a question of whether he was also nutso. This particular guy was not good enough to introduce himself, so I’m going to arbitrarily assign him a name (just like we did with Brad). To me, he looked like a…Dennis. I’ve always wanted to meet a crazy person named Dennis, so it works out. Dennis was harmless enough. Sure, he was talking to himself in a loud-enough-to-be-conversational tone, and at one point, with no pretext (is that what I mean?) whatsoever, he shouted at me “You ain’t cold??” But still, he mostly just sat quietly. Oh, and he did some pull-ups. That’s right. He did like 10 pull-ups hanging from the cross-pole (that thing’s gotta have a technical name) above his seat. When it came time for Dennis to de-train (that’s a word, yeah?), he had to quickly duck back on and inquire about the whereabouts of his backpack from the man who had taken his seat. The new passenger looked confused, until Dennis proclaimed, “Oh, it’s on my back. I’m drunk!”
Then, of course, there was Susan, the elderly and overweight woman who sat next to me on the A train (why is it always the A?) and immediately started addressing me in a mumbled tone about walking in the snow to give her landlord money…or her landlord was giving her money…or a Spaniard living off honey. I wasn’t really paying attention. I do know her name was Susan, though, because that’s how she introduced herself to the young pair to her right. She then arose from her seat and danced a jig around the pole for about 3 minutes (for some reason I was slow to get my camera out. Curses.) before sitting back down. She continued to talk in sentences (maybe?) that I couldn’t understand to her new friends. I think at one point just before stepping off the train she asked them for money. So I’m guessing it wasn’t her landlord that was giving her money. Maybe it was the Spaniard thing.