I just got home. It’s nearly 2:42am. I left the bar at 1:12am.
It’s true, I got lost in the subway system. Uptown became downtown. The Bronx was Brooklyn. Oh boy, I got awfully confused. But before you judge me for this (I’m looking at you real New Yorkers), please know that New York’s subway is currently under maintenance, which means locals are expresses and some trains, with no signs to inform anyone, just never show up.
I didn’t mind it though. Actually, 5 transfers later I really enjoyed it. After all, the subway is prime people watching time, now isn’t it? I’d find a quiet spot at each station and do one of my all time favourite things; watch people.
First we had the couples. They were my favourite people to watch. So cute, snuggled together to keep each other warm. Trying to comfort each other through this tedious, unknown period of time. I could tell her feet hurt from her heels, and she was leaning on him to take the pressure off her soles. But he didn’t mind it, at all. I wished ever so much I had my SLR camera on me. I wanted to capture their quiet, silent, moments, just the two of them, in their own little world, waiting for their train.
Then there were the drunk people, whose laughter you could hear before you saw them. Groups of friends out on the town not noticing how long each train took to come. They were chattering away, one joke at a time. I had to cover my laugh when I heard this preppy, white guy, trying to convince a group of black ladies he was their man, because just last week he’d “gone black, and will never go back.”
And of course there were the other solo passengers. The people just like me. We’d catch eyes occasionally, then quickly glance away, but I knew they were doing the exact same thing as me; people watching at 1:30am on the subway system. I’d imagine their lives, where they were going, where they had been. True New Yorkers? Or travelers passing through? At one point I sat between two girls both eating McDonalds. I have no idea why, but for some reason this made me feel better about myself. It made me realize when I’m slightly tipsy, and wanting McDonalds at 1am it’s quite normal. Human really.
The homeless people also seemed to gather underground at night. Whenever I see homeless people I wonder what their story is. Where their family is. How they got to that spot in time. Some looked legitimately crazy, while others simply looked tired, wanting to rest in a bed that doesn’t exist this late at night.
It’s been a thing of mine, this people watching thing I do, ever since I was little I’ve done it, and come to think of it, it’s kept me occupied for great lengths of time. I think it started out because I always compared myself to other people, always making sure I was normal, not standing out - always making sure, I was just like everybody else. But now as the years have ticked on, and I’ve watched millions of soles passing through my life, when I people watch I don’t judge or compare, but simply observe and every time fall a little bit more in love with the human race. We truly are a wonderful breed, all so similar, yet so very different.