Subterranean Homebound Jew

Last Night in the Subway
MAY 18, 2011 · 1:16 PM

I had been singing aloud to myself, somewhat quietly, but none too surreptitiously.

On the L.

Felt a little conspicuous ’cause that girl was probably noticing.

But not enough.

I guess.

On the Brooklyn-bound G platform, a determinedly geeky guy in nerd specs and shorts was playing terrific contemporary accordion to enthusiasm and maybe some cash.


While on the Queens-bound side, a small girl, at least minimally adult in years and plugged into at least one earbud, meticulously danced a solitary Latin dance with no embarrassment.


I think.

From my perspective, she was dancing in silence, so it was like watching a geographically confused tai-chi. No one else appeared be noticing her as she did not appear to be requesting notice. Those seeking entertainment watched the accordion player across the tracks.

On the G, I returned to my singing. Immediately, I felt a large black guy watching me.

But he seemed to smile a small, approving smile.


He worked for the MTA.

2 Nights Ago in the Subway
MAY 19, 2011 · 10:56 AM

In the realm of the G once more, an attractive girl and her young Asian cohort seemed to be laughing at me as I approached the homeward platform. I didn’t know them but thought maybe they remembered me from the karaoke. Then she mentioned a party thrown by a famous retail designer or eponymous megaorganization.

Which meant she was a style girl. So, she probably was laughing at me.

The guy seemed nice.

Wednesday, in the Subway
MAY 20, 2011 · 11:52 AM

The clean cut black guy, laughing and joking toward a pal in a neighboring seat, was neither with nor near a pal. He was self-contained. A nut, either natively or self-inflicted.

Laughing about a “homo,” I think.

Maybe it was just the word homo that pleased him. Endlessly. As the A train crawled more slowly that a human could, a marathon in slow motion between two stops.

A Latin guy yelled incomprehensibly about Jesus. Probably.

Jesus was the only word I could make out if I am correct. It was a recurring, almost recognizable motif.

I suppose he might have been incomprehensible even if the words could be understood.

On the platform at West 4th, I can’t remember for sure what the ever-so-slightly crazed looking Oriental fellow was doing to unnerve me as I passed. I think it was a martial arts move of some kind, unredeemed by a mustache that probably should have been ironic.

But probably wasn’t.


One response to “Subterranean Homebound Jew

  1. Jeff

    … and an echo from the past floats down the tunnels still, vibrating in the ear of my memories of Frank, Dean and Bing and our attempt to sing the score of ‘Robin and the 7 Hoods’ during the long, hot wait for the train in the after midnight buzz of the flourescents.

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