best of craigslist > new york > I will apologize because I don't feel like going to jail.
Originally Posted: 2007-02-22 6:48pm

I will apologize because I don't feel like going to jail.

I’m in the subway in New York city and it’s rush hour. I’m in a torture chamber. I’m crammed between a mans slimy perspiring arm pit, a woman with a stroller and an older lady who keeps looking over at me and saying...

"Don’t fucking touch me, bitch."

...every time the train slows or jolts and I accidentally brush her sleeve with mine. I’m trying to ignore her. I’m trying to be calm. I’m trying really, really hard. I’m concentrating on my shoes, the logo on some guys shirt, a billboard advertising English lessons...

"Next stop is 103th st. stand clear of closing doors please."...

I brush against the angry women’s arm as the train takes off and she gives me the kind of look one might give to a person they were about to destroy...

"If you fucking touch me again, I’m gonna scream. I fucking mean it, you stupid white ho"...

"Sorry."...

is what I say, although what I really want to say is...

"I know martial arts and if you curse at me again I with put you in a headlock and cut off your goddamn air supply."...

But I don’t because I’m polite and I’m patient and I don’t let my emotions control my life. My life, no. My imagination, oh yes.

As the woman continues to rant at me I imagine pushing her up against the subway doors, lifting her frail twisted body off the floor. I’m holding her neck with one hand because I have super strength. I tell her politely and patiently that she’s not the only one with problems. I tell her that all humans suffer, I tell her that’s she’s a complete cliche. I tell her that yes, on the surface I look like a privileged white girl who deserves to be shat on emotionally by those less fortunate, but in reality my mother died a few days ago and I just lost my job and my cat is sick and I have 13 dollars in my bank account, and sometimes I start crying on the street, in a café, at dinner, and all and any inappropriate places for absolutely no reason. And in my mind she’s listening to me and nodding and understanding. and she's saying...

"I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.I had no idea, i never think of anyone but myself, but you have shown me the light."...

"It’s okay."...

I say like I'm some sort of saint or demon or guru who has giving her this gift of empathy. So I put her back on the floor and then we hug or some shit and everyone in the train is teary eyed. And we all start singing Cat Stevens ’Freedom train." And we join hands and we are all one community of people, just people, different people, the same people, flawed people, pissed people, happy people, distracted people, dying people, living people and we all understand this and accept this. But of course this isn't’t happening. This would never happen. The mans armpit it still inches from my face. The baby in the stroller is crying. The baby's mother is ignoring her. And the woman who I have forgiven and who had forgiven me is telling me I’m a fucking cunt. And I’m saying...

"I’m sorry."...

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