|The end of 45.|
I turned 46 last Friday. Had a fine time. Took some pics to post here but haven't posted them because I wanted to say something to go with them. Today, though, I really want to tell you this other story...and include the photos of me at 45 (top) and newly 46 (bottom).
This morning I wasn't in a great frame of mind. I hadn't slept well and I had a lot of thoughts. So many thoughts. I got to the subway and remembered that I had to put more money on my card. When I approached the credit card only machine it was out of order. As I turned to the cash and card machine a man stepped to it and punched some things on the keypad. He'd been standing by the turnstiles a moment before and clearly made his move as I tried to use the downed machine. A second later he stepped away from that machine and there was a code on the screen about an audio transaction in process and not being able to use it. I knew he'd caused that.
And right on cue he asked if I wanted a swipe. (If you don't live here it's a transit thing, it's illegal to sell swipes on one metro card at a markup but it's a pretty common scheme. The thing where you fuck up the machines to force people to buy your sweep is something I've suspected but not seen so clearly until today.) I said no and scowled at the stuck machine for a bit until he approached another customer. Bless her heart he offered her a swipe and she replied, "That's so nice of you!" I didn't hear him run down the price points because I had figured out that I'd have to go aboveground again, cross a busy street, go down into the station on the opposite side, use those machines, and come back to get on the train going in my direction and I was pretty mad about it. Even though I was kind of glad to be mad. It was distracting from my other thoughts.
While I did that I dialed up the city agency for transit complaints. In my head I was thinking, "They won't give a shit!" but I dialed anyway because I had to tell someone. I had to do something that felt right. Before they picked up, though, I was in the station on the other side of Flatbush Avenue and I'd forgotten that side has a manned token booth! (No tokens, though.) Someone to tell!
So I told the attendant. She held up a finger but didn't look at me. She got a piece of paper and a pen. She was quiet a long time. I thought, "She does not give a shit." Right before I walked away she waved me closer and handed me that piece of paper with a phone number on it. She told me that was the number for the transit police in this district and I should call them. They knew about this guy. She went on to say she thought he was doing it like a career, which was stupid. Then she asked me was he dark skinned? About 5'11"? What was he wearing? I could vouch for the skin and the height and even that he was thin and had a hood up but that was it and I started to get all the usual guilt over that. What if they asked me to ID him? I couldn't because I hadn't really looked at his face because I was trying to avoid contact with him and because I didn't think anyone would care.
I didn't think anyone would care.
I wanted to call to make myself feel better but there didn't seem to be any point in gathering specific information because I was absolutely sure that no one would listen to me and do anything about the problem. I got surprised. In a really good way. I wish I'd been more help.
|The beginning of 46.|