Sense of Community
It’s the last thing that expect to find on a train in New York City. Last time I saw any inkling of it was the days after 9/11 when everyone sat in morbid silence in respect of everyone else’s personal thoughts. Men gave up their chairs to women (pretty or otherwise) and elders were given passage to walk / sit. It was nice. It lasted about 2 or 3 weeks. Now the only sense I expect to experience on the train is nausea at the smells that abound or annoyance at people’s lack of respect for someone else’s space to the point that they don’t even say “excuse me” or “sorry” anymore when they elbow you right in the kidneys and now lately the sensation of nervousness that some yahoo will get on the train and decide to blow everything up. Today, amongst all of those sensations was a brief one of community… and genuine caring. As I was thumbing through yet another Bridal Magazine, I heard a few loud snorts coming from the middle of the train car. I tried to crane my neck to see what was happening but found that I was struggling to get past other people’s heads craning to see the same. The entire car was turned inward to know what was happening and then a man stood up and walked to the other side of the car and took hold of someone who I guess had fallen onto the floor of the train. I heard mumbles of “Do you need a glass of water?” “Are you Okay?” “Call 911” “If you get off at the next stop, I’ll wait with you for the paramedics”
From what I can surmise, it must have been a narcoleptic that fell into a deep slumber (where the snorting was coming from was some deep assed snoring) and when the train jolted, he fell into the middle of the car. He swore he was okay, but EVERYONE on the train was concerned for him. And he was riding alone. It’s nice to know that exists still.