So the other night I was waiting waiting waiting for the train at the Union Square. It was late. The local track was roped off, and there were MTA workers down there walking the tracks and picking up trash.
I was silent as they passed by.
It felt reverent.
I looked at the men. They looked back at me. I just stood there looking. They kept walking. Some kicked tracks with their boots. One tough guy was carrying a pick, and walking on top of the third rail. He was still wearing his protective glasses and his helmet. His message was: “I would rather get electrified, than get dirt in my eyes, or smashed in the head.”
I thought about what it must be like for the workers. Its late. Saturday night. For the most part of your duty that night you are walking along a dark track with 5 silent guys, and one dude that wants to get shocked. Every hour or so, you come up on this bright rectangle stage of light. Everyone is elevated. You can see all the couples pairing off. You can see the girl crying by the column. You can see the boy totally wasted and passed out on the stairs. All of this is happening freely above you.
If I was one of those workers I would want to at least once in my experience of having that job – want to walk by the bright station stage, and start whooping and hollering – asking everyone to do the wave. Just get a big rally going in your honor.
That would be an exciting subway moment.