Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why you wanna go some place you don't fit?

That is a good question. A better question is: Where do I fit?

I got on the #1 train heading uptown and, no surprise, the two men in the doorway barely moved to let anyone on. I entered on the right and the kid standing in front of me had his hand up holding the pole so I could not move further onto the train.

"Excuse me," I asked.
"Where you want to go?" He is looking at me and stubbornly maintaining his grip in the pole blocking my way.
"I want to get on the train."
"You on the train. You happy?"

The man on the left steps aside, encouraging me to move in that way. But, that direction was toward the center of the train where surely I would have been in the way, with no place to hold on.

I went into BIM and I refused and told the kid I wanted to go to the space behind him.

"How you gonna get there?" he challenged me.
"You are going to move your arm and let me pass," I declared with certainty.
"You got room right here. Why you wanna go someplace you don't fit?"

That was it. I hate that people are so rude. Why do they stand in the doorway when there is space behind them. They are not even getting off soon. There is no reason.

I pushed past him and when I was in the large open space I declared (maybe shouted), "I DON'T FIT? I DON'T FIT? LOOK, I CAN WAVE MY ARMS AROUND!" And I did. I had lots of room and I was waving my arms around to prove it.

But, did I fit? I had no sense of the other people around me. No one was looking at me. It was a 20 second altercation, over as quickly as it started. And there I was happy to be standing in an open place where I could put my bag down. Was there really enough space there before I pushed my way on? I don't know because I did not take the time to assess the situation or consider the appropriate thing to do. I doubt anyone was happy that I was there. My place on the train? My place at my job? My place in the world? Why I wanna be someplace I do not fit?

I may have been a square peg in a round hole before my surgery but now I am a loud, squeaky awkward peg determined to insert myself somewhere. It doesn't feel that way when it is happening. It feels normal. It feels like what anyone would do, until I hear myself shouting and see myself waving my arms around and I remember that this is not normal behavior. Fortunately, I did not feel too bad afterwards. There are times when this happens that I feel so angry and upset that other people don't understand me. I berate myself for acting so inappropriately. Today, I didn't care so much. Who saw me? Who felt embarrassed for me? I don't care.

I imagine other people took it in stride. Another day in New York. Another wacky subway fight. I just hope I do not end up on YouTube.

1 comment:

I am Calabresella said...

Your entry reminds me of the book I've recently read by Jane Lapotaire 'Time Out of Mind'. She had suffered a brain hemorrhage from a burst aneurysm and had emergency brain surgery. She's had many moments similar to yours, and it's incredibly brave to step outside yourself and think about how others may perceive you during one of these moments.