November 26, 2001


Bad scene in the Fulton Street station. A “police action” knocks the 4/5 train out of service at rush hour, stranding thousands. I end up in a corridor packed with commuters, many of whom are trying to make their way back to the 2/3 train, having waited in vain for the 4/5. My group, a smaller group, dreams of reaching the Brooklyn-bound J train via a stairwell on the 4/5 platform. We have time to dream too, for we’re moving at about five feet a minute, about a third of the speed, as I figure it, of a crawling baby.

Remarkably the vibe is mellow. Some scattered Jesus-Fucking-Christ’s can be heard, but overall the crowd is composed and orderly and even a bit philosophical, for a crowd. Impressive. But then this guy comes up the stairs and starts pushing through the crowd because he needs to BE SOMEWHERE, in contrast to the rest of us, who are merely loitering in the corridor, and for no other reason than that we enjoy standing groin to butt with our fellow New Yorkers.

He’s tall, perhaps six-five, and broad. Also, violent, evidently. I recognize him immediately. He’s the guy who drives like he’s playing a video game, weaving between lanes at ninety miles an hour.

“Friend,” I say, “we’re all going the same place.”

“Yeah, well, fuck you,” he says.

“Yeah, well, fuck you,” I say.

Actually I say no such thing. I say nothing. I don’t want him to smash me in the mouth.

Jesus had it easy, for He could heal people.