Yesterday there were signal problems on several major MTA lines and every train that made it to the station was basically the last chopper out of Saigon. This led to a confrontation between two men who immediately apologized to each other and agreed that it would be wrong to argue because they don’t know where it could go.
“I’m sorry buddy, why am I yelling at a stranger? You could be a killer.”
“You really never know in this city, some cop killed a kid yesterday, and he was an old man. You never know who can do what.”
They had a very friendly chat about crime in New York City, how dangerous it used to be, and one got off and the other told him “best wishes to you and your family.” Everybody in the train car was heartened by this interaction, especially an older woman who approached the man still in the car.
“We need more people like you, good people,” she said.
I was able to move away from this conversation as more room in the car opened up, but suddenly the two of them, both white with thick old school NYC accents, began talking about the Koran.
“You got those people over there using the Koran for no good,” said the woman, “None of that nonsense is in the Koran.”
“Nowhere in the Koran is the word war,” replied the man.
I felt a little nervous about this conversation. Where is this going? They were speaking quite loudly and the train was about 3/4 full. But then the woman continued:
“And they’re blowing themselves up for 100 virgins, even the women are blowing themselves up. What would a woman want with 100 virgins? 100 guys who don’t know what they’re doin!”
I can best describe New York City as the answer to the question, “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?” It’s 24 hours of madness organized as neatly as possible.
And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.