Inside the Mind of the Subway Idiot

Subway Idiot

You know this guy.Photo illustration: Everett Bogue; Photo: Getty Images

They say you should never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. But recently we’ve discovered that there is one set of New Yorkers, a special subgroup of humans that we spend a lot of our time judging. Very harshly. We look at them with disdain, confusion, and often, outright rage. We’ve seriously considered acts of violence against them and have on more than one occasion nearly indulged in a crazy public outburst in their direction. Then this weekend, we decided that we should maybe try to see the world as they do. There must be some explanation as to why they act the way they do. So, below is our best attempt to picture what’s going on in the minds of the people that we find most worthy of judgment. Let’s see if it illuminates anything.

Man, I’m running late to work today, huh? Good thing my boss doesn’t really care. He’s always out in back yammering on the phone. I’m going to take a minute to enjoy this walk to the subway.

Hey, I wonder what pigeons do when they’re alone?

Ew, look at those people hanging onto the railings as they go down the stairs into the subway. I would never touch those things — they are probably covered in boogers and poops. No, the middle of the staircase is the place to be. Except, damn with all this pushing and shoving I have to go slowly ‘cause I don’t want to fall, and I have no railing to hang on to. Take it easy, people! It’s not my fault you work at a shitty job where your boss is going to yell at you for being late. Shoulda got up earlier.

Man, that chick is hot. Did you clean your panties with Windex, baby? Because I swear I can see myself in them!

Oh, fuck, hold on — where’s my MetroCard? I thought it was in this pocket of my bag. Maybe it’s in that one? Ooh, Life Savers! Oh, there we go. Swipe! Wait, no. Swipe! Damn, “Swipe again at this turnstile?” Yeah, right. This one’s fucked up! I’ll use the next one. What? Just used? It didn’t let me through. Damn. Gotta go talk to that lady. Man, people, out of the way! I’m trying to get back outta here.

Ugh, that was annoying. Ooh! I love this R. Kelly song. Thank God it’s on my On-the-Go playlist three times. I gotta tune out all this crazy around me.

Ha-ha, look, someone drew a penis in the mouth of that guy in the advertisement on the wall. He looks gay now! People are geniuses.

Here comes the train. Nice, people are making a space right in front of the door. Perfect! Insert: me, front and center. Suckers!

Damn, there’s a lot of pushing today. Hey, don’t get mad at me pushing you back, you’re trying to knock me over! Where’s that new Mariah song? I got to blast that one stat.

Nice, got a spot to stand on the other side of the subway car right by the door. I’m putting this song on repeat. That’s right. Touch my body, baby.

Wait, I can lose 30 pounds in 30 days? I should write that number down.

Oh, shit, this is the door that opens at the next stop. I’m gonna get squished into the door as everyone pushes past me. Single file, people! You’re gonna push me off the train! I am staying on this train!!

Hell. That bitch almost knocked my bag off me. You think you’re all that, lady, but you look like the fat woman from the Pine Sol ads!

Oh, a whole row of seats just opened up. And I’m down! I can finally spread my legs and get this bag off my shoulder. Perfect. Nobody better try and squeeze in next to me, cause I am not in the mood today. I’m not pinching my balls so some fat chick can rest half a cheek on me.

What are you looking at, fag? Jesus, eyes to yourself.

Look at all these people reading. What the hell is that? You can’t listen to your music if you’re reading.

Finally, my stop. I hate the line to go out of this station. It’s always so nuts. What a pain in my dick. Oh, look, no one is standing on the right side of the escalator. That’s where I’m going. There’s so much more room here!

I don’t mind spending ev-e-ry day, out on your corner in the pouring rain…”

See, now that I started the trend, there are all kinds of people standing on the right side of the escalator behind me, too. I don’t know why it’s always me who figures this shit out. Sometimes I worry about this city.

Finally, up in the air again. I hate those last stairs coming out, it’s always so tight with people. Wait, should I go to Rite-Aid before I get to work? I want a Snickers. But I’m kinda late. But if I got a Snickers, I could also get a Mountain Dew for the morning. Damn, I don’t know — hey asshole, don’t shove me! God, I hate jerks like that. Gimme a minute to think about what I’m doing, okay? I just got out of the subway!

Mmm. Snickers it is. What can I say? They really satisfy me.

End of Interior Monologue

There, a mile (albeit underground) in his shoes. Can we go back to judging him, please?

Inside the Mind of the Subway Idiot