The subway doors open. My headphones are on as I cross the threshold. Over my internet-procured, Pitchfork Best New Tracks-researched, I’m-so-indie bullshit I hear “OH MY GOD! THIS IS THE WOMAN I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR ALL MY LIFE, MAN! ALL MY LIFE!”
I keep my eyes down. I walk towards the other side of the train. I hope and pray that this loud man, whose face I have not ventured to seek out, is not talking about me. Dear God, I think, please let these words be intended for someone else.
“MAN! MAN! YOU SEE HER? ISN’T SHE BEAUTIFUL? HEY! YOU! LADY! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUUUUUUUULLLLL!”
I notice that the lisped sound of this man’s excessively booming voice is pointing in my direction, and when I look up across from me, I am confronted with the humored stares of three boys, all looking at me, the victim of this embarrassing crime of flattery delivered by a lunatic. Fucking hell.
I look back down at my iPod, turning the volume all the way down so I can hear everything being yelled at me. A pair of sneakers appears in front of me. I look up.
He holds onto a silver bar with aging hands and leans towards me with a maniacal friendliness. “You so pretty,” he says, his voice lowered slightly, sweet as crazy candy laced with arsenic. I squeak out a “Thank you” and place my gaze firmly back into my lap. His charm turns towards the girl next to me, a young blonde in dark blue jeans. “You so pretty, too. I can’t choose! Can I have both of you?” She says something and he walks away.
After he has tired of wooing the ladies, his comments turn towards the men on the train. “Don’t look at me like that, man,” he yells at a boy sitting across from me. “People gonna think I like guys. You fuckin ugly, man. Ugly.”
The volume of his voice gains footing again, desiring to make its way down the train towards a man standing by the door.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT GUY WEARING, MAN?! LOOK AT THE COLOR COMBINATIONS! JESUS CHRIST. YOU UGLY MAN. UGLY! ANYONE GOT ROACH SPRAY?”
Crazy Pants snaps one of his arms back, bent like a pantomime snake about to attack, or, you know, someone spraying a giant human cockroach with a giant can of fake insecticide.
“SSSSSSSSS!!! SSSSSSSS!!!” His mouth makes the hissing noise of an aerosol can releasing poison. He dances down the aisle; his toes tapping on the linoleum floor that is his stage.
“You ever see a guy uglier than that?!” he yells, standing in a state of rest. No one offers their personal opinion. On the other side of the subway, someone stifles a laugh. “Can’t dress for shit!” he continues.
The subway stops, letting out a number of confused and horrified travelers. The man catches someone before he leaves. “MAN! YOUR HEAD SO BIG! WHEN’S IT GONNA STOP GROWING? YOU NEED A HELMET FOR THAT SHIT! YOUR HEAD SO BIG!” He looks down at the Human Cockroach he assaulted a few minutes previous. “Pap, you’re not the ugliest man no more,” he assures him. The doors close.
Our tin can subway rattles down the tracks. Crazy Pants anticipates the end of our journey together. “You guys have been great,” he says with wistful sentiment, as though we were an audience who paid good money to sit center stage at the insane asylum. His acerbic tone returns, however, and he wraps up his monologue with “The ugly ones, you’re still ugly, though.”
The doors open. My stop. I shuffle towards the door, hoping he doesn’t follow me and his other favorite blonde onto the platform.
“CRACK ATTACK! CRACK ATTACK! CRACK ATTACK!” he yells, pin pointing with great accuracy the theme of the last five minutes.