New York is a many splendored city. The juxtaposition of anger and civility often results in special moments.
This morning I got in a little early. My partner and I have no time, but we were asked to help out on a new business assignment. We agreed to get in around eight so that we'd, hopefully, have something to share before our ten o'clock meeting.
The C train, perhaps the most decrepit of all of the MTA's many routes (with the possible exception of the G-line--the only line that doesn't extend into Manhattan) was less-crowded than usual. Of course, it was still standing-room-only and a mess.
There is a breed of subway rider who takes great comfort leaning back against the doors--and barely making space when those doors open. That breed was in full-flower this morning.
Nevertheless I got on at 81st Street and quickly found a seat. Then I noticed just a few feet away from me an older man standing up against a pole and seemingly holding on for dear life as the train lurched downtown.
He was wearing a lopsided baseball cap and a ratty grey sweater that was many sizes too big. His pants were hiked-up around his navel, as is the style among people born in his generation. I must say, from an aesthetic and practical pov, I prefer pants worn too high than pants worn down below the ass. I don't get a vote, of course, and "prison-style dressing" seems all the rage.
I saw this old man standing there. He had easily 20 years on me and he looked none-too-stable. I got out of my seat and motioned to him. He paid no attention. Finally, I walked over to him.
"Would you like my seat?" I asked.
He snarled at me. "What do you think I am, a fucking invalid?" And he turned his back to me.
Just another morning in the greatest city in the world.