Wednesday, June 23, 2010

can I tell you something nasty?

Something really gross that will make you squirm.

To get home from my new job, I take the R train one stop to Union Square and then change to the N. I go to the very last car on the N train, because one time when I was in that car I ran into H. coming home, and since then I always hope to run into him again. So, I stand and wait for the N at the end of the platform, and at the end of the platform is a mystery door. A few days ago while staring blankly at that door I spotted a nasty rat pop out from underneath! Yuck. But a rat in the subway is hardly a special occasion in NYC, so I didn't really think much of it, but made a mental note to not stand too close to the Rat Door.

A few days later I was back on the platform staring at that door, and out popped 2 rats. Ew. Two rats in one place! Rats sure like that Rat Door.

Yesterday evening as I made my commute I decided to spend the entire time I waited on the platform staring at the Rat Door. Oh. My. God. Guess how many rats popped out of that nasty door of hell?!?! FIVE. FIVE RATS. I have never seen that many subway rats in one place, and on the platform! My previous record was four rats on one platform.

Rats have a place in the world: and that place is on the subway tracks. I have no problem with them when they know their place, but when they're on the platform I find them quite offensive.

Tonight, I took my place on the platform and watched that door. 3 rats out, 2 rats in. They might have been the same rats, I can't identify them. As I stared and squirmed, and inched away without taking my eyes off the door, a subway janitor passed me with a trolley full of garbage bags and headed for Rat Door. Oh. My. God. That is a subway garbage room: a rat dining hall. I became worried that when he opened that door a parade of well-fed nasty vermin would come spilling out, rubbing their full bellies and picking their teeth with a toothpick.

I stepped back a few more feet and watched. The subway janitor even looked apprehensive about approaching the Rat Door. Shivers. He pushed the door open, looked suspiciousli inside - without goin g in - and threw his garbage bags in there. The subway janitor wouldn't even go in that room. I wouldn't go in that room unless I had some air-tight space-suit on. Ugh.

Why do I stand near that door and watch it when I know what nasty lies behind it? I don't know. Probably for the same reason that my favorite book about NYC, and possibly my favorite non-fiction book ever, is the wildly disgusting Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants, by Robert Sullivan.

 Shiver me timbers.

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