So my friend Liz posted on her blog about subway-induced anxiety, which reminded me of a strange encounter I had yesterday.
I took the A (express train) home from work - I usually take the C (local train, meaning it makes more stops and therefore takes a bit longer) because it's far less crowded and I'm not in much of a hurry, but I was in an express-train kind of mood yesterday. (Or maybe the express train was running on the local track, and I had missed the announcements to that effect because I was listening to my iPod. But these are the types of train shenanigans I am talking about.) Anyway, it was so crowded that people had to force their way onto the train, and the doors tried to close several times before everyone had squished in - including twice on a guy's shoulder because he couldn't seem to fit his entire body inside. There was literally no space left. After the doors closed for good, the guy who had shimmied his way in after me looked at me and said something. Unable to hear him over the strains Ingrid Michaelson's "Overboard", I took my headphones out and politely requested that he repeat himself. Which he did, with an air of great annoyance: "Can you please move?"
And to be quite honest, I really had no idea how to respond to that. So I settled on staring at him blankly for a good 4 seconds before I said, "WHERE?" and stuck my headphones back in.