The PT Diaries #2...The Crazy Man / by Shanelle Gabriel

I need a lil extra dose of Jesus on some occasions...and it seems lately, public transportation has caused me to need a gospel prescription. (This blog is completely random, I warn you, but then again, aren't blogs for venting?)

These are the PT (Public Transportation) Diaries:


I waited for the 2 train heading downtown from Borough Hall after seeing 'Nothing Like the Holidays.' It was a great movie followed with a Soy Chai Tea Latte with Light Foam from Starbucks, so you know I was feeling good.

As the train enters the station, I measure it out perfectly so that I'm in the car that would let me out right in front of my exit. I sit at the end of the seats in the middle of the car. I notice a man leaning on the door across from me. He appeared to be near his early 40s, had a bit of grey in his hair (or were those dust bunnies?), and his dark
brown hands were extremely ashy. He wore a electric blue suit that
reminded me of what my mom told me about crazy folk: They tend to wear very bright colors when they're about to go 'off.' This was definitely an off day.

It began with him mumbling to himself, then it became a conversation...with himself. The subject changed from Obama's presidency to a fight he was supposed to be prepared for.

'Come on. You ain't no punk. Don't let him chump you. You running? You better not run. You can handle this. Take care of this. What you gonna do, huh? Huh?'

I smile at a little girl across from me who's just staring at the man with a look of confusion on her face. She sees me and smiles back, but glues her eyes to this inner argument going on on the train.

It's Atlantic Avenue when the person next to me gets up and frees a seat. Crazy comes and sits right next to me. I keep very still. (You know how they say crazy dogs chase you when you make sudden movement.) He's too restless to stay in one place, so gets up and leans on the door. He looks at his reflection, and punches it. Then the conversation gets softer but more aggressive, and he punches himself in the arm. Not hard but enough to confirm that this is indeed his 'off' day.

He does it a few more times, then stops to get off at Sterling Place. I pray that he walked the few blocks away from the station to check himself in at Kings County.

Only on the train...