Thursday, March 8, 2007

Business Casual with Problems, Part 2

Thursday March 8th 2007

Today I saw a man at the 96th St. Subway stop who really blew away my puking man story (see below).

So I'm waiting there, at my least favorite stop in all of NYC with heavy groceries and several hundred other people during rush hour. The local train is way late, and the express trains just keep dumping off loads more people.

And just for good measure, it's freakin' freezing.

I'm looking around and notice a white male, probably in his sixties, in a brightly colored fancy lookin' Gore-Tex parka.
The first thing I notice is that he's practicing basketball hoop shooting moves in a very uninhibited and focused way. He's got head phones on, and I imagine him listening to some basketball playing instructional tape (if there is such a thing, probably not).
Not unlike puking man, he looks very upstanding. Rolex watch, fancy bag, fancy shoes, well-groomed, expensive sunglasses.

I take a second look a moment later and notice that he's actually sweating - very unusual since it's 20 degrees. So I get to staring (I notice that a few other people are staring too), and I realize that he's so hot and sweaty that there is actually steam coming off of his head! I shit you not!

All the while, he's continuing to intently practice his hoop moves and bounce around a little.
It's at this moment that I realize this man is probably having a severely manic episode.
Then he starts energetically running his fingers all over the pole in the station. Now that I'm looking closely, it's clear that the man can barely contain his energy. I've heard that being manic is one of the best feelings, and I believe it! Although it can become very agitating after awhile too.

Anyways, just to put the icing on the cake, he takes out a harmonica and starts playing Strawberry Fields! He plays a few notes, then sings the verses, "Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields, nothing is real..." etc.

Wow. True story. Sweating so much that he's steaming in the middle of winter. That is something else!

Hmmm. I guess he could've been on amphetamines too. But I like to think it was pure, unadulterated mania. I hope he finds his way back from Strawberry Fields safely.

Business Casual with Problems

Thursday March 8th 2007

On Tuesday I saw an upstanding looking member of society puking his guts out at the Carroll Gardens Subway stop. A middle-aged, balding, white male dressed fairly nicely with a visible gold wedding band and briefcase. The kind of guy who lives in the suburbs. You know, a business casual kinda guy, to quote my friend Ambrose Amberson.

And boy was he sick! He puked so much! It was crazy! I've never seen someone puke that much, and he couldn't even make it to a trashcan! From how close he was standing to the edge of the platform, he must've starting getting sick the moment he stepped off the train. It's not very often you see the backbone of the upper middle class puking their guts out on a weekday at 3pm. But lest you think I am totally insensitive, dear reader, I waited until a police officer approached and offered assistance.

Later I described the scenario to a couple of friends. One of them said, "So, did he get food poisoning, or was he just drunk in the middle of the day?" Which oddly enough were the ailments I thought of too - I guess those are the common ailments of the segment of society he represents.