Friday, August 21, 2009

Dodging Danger: A Big Storm and Teenagers

It was a crazy night. It started with the storm.

I was in my naturopath’s office when the first rumbles of thunder became distinguishable from the traffic outside. We were sitting in his consulting room. A door stood open to his acupuncture treatment room, where there’s a skylight and a big picture window. The lightening flickers coming in through the door were so constant and regular it looked like there was a big TV in there, left on and tuned to static.

The wind outside picked up. Rain lashed against the windows. The rolling and crashing of thunder was almost constant. And yet, we were nowhere near the centre of the storm.

By the time our session was over, the storm was receding. The rain was still coming down in sheets, and it was twilight-dark outside much too early, but the worst I suffered from that storm was soaked feet as I ran to the subway.

Others were not so lucky.

I found a seat on a subway train among other damp and dripping folks. At the very next stop, a man around my age took the seat next to me. He was talking to himself.

“Six… dozen… chicken wings,” he said, jiggling his left leg nervously.

He murmured some inaudible comments, and then suddenly, with a big flourish, he whipped open the plastic bag he was carrying and pulled out a hairbrush. His hair was wet and messy from the storm.

He brought the brush up, and over his shoulder. He tapped himself on the back with it several times, between his shoulder blades. He threw it in the air and caught it, twice, with great concentration. That done, he dove back into his plastic bag and put the hairbrush away. He leaned back in his seat.

“Strong and powerful,” he said. “Strong and powerful PUNCH! PEANUT PUNCH!”

At this point I was having a very hard time keeping a straight face.

“Nutritious food,” he mused. “Sweet potatoes. Okra. Ackee.” Mumble mumble. He got off at the same stop as me. I walked slowly to fall far behind him. He paced off energetically, presumably in search of something to eat for his dinner. Six dozen chicken wings, perhaps?

I got myself dinner at a food court, and got back on the subway to go home. There were some girls who looked to be around 15 years old, standing in a little clump, talking loudly amongst themselves. Skinny jeans, hoodies, big gold bangles, neon pink and neon green nail polish.
Two stops later, another bunch of girls got on the train. I still can’t figure out if the two groups were loud, obnoxious friends trying to freak out all the other passengers, or if they genuinely would have liked to tear each others’ eyes out with their manicured fingernails. But the verbal bust-up that went on for the next five minutes had me ready to push the “Emergency Stop Get Help We Are In Danger Eeeeeeeeeee!” security strip over my seat. They were yelling and screaming at each other, calling each other every possible disgusting name, and making violent threats.

Finally one of the groups got off. There was some banging on the train windows before we pulled away to safety, but whew! No one’s eyes were gouged.

I got off at a transfer point, only to be almost destroyed by a team of adolescent boys who were running for the train like a stampede of charging rhinos. I threw myself up against a wall and felt the sleeve of the closest boy’s T-shirt brush my upper arm as he raced past. I would have been knocked flat on my back I hadn’t jumped out of the way.

Anyway, I finally made it home all in one piece, and found my home all in one piece, at the end of the evening. My roof was not ripped off. I was not struck by lightening or flying debris. I wasn’t attacked by a crazy man or evil teenaged girls. Nor was I squashed by teenaged boys, or even a subway train.

I’m feeling lucky!


DarcsFalcon said...

You ARE lucky!

And I realized while reading this that I would have been more afraid of the teens than the storm. I just watched a show last night on young women who kill. Scary!

Glad you made it home safe and sound to tell us all about it. :)

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Glad you made it home safe, but you could have added some more excitement. Ummm... let's see... how about the boys were running from huge mutant subway rats that were collecting humans to take to their babies in the nest. The only thing that could stop them would be some chicken wings and Peanut PUNCH!

Scarlet said...

I think this is the second time I read one of your posts and feel my heart wanting to pop out of my chest. (You'd write good suspense novels!)

What a crazy ride you had...and it could've ended so much worse! There is really no place like home, especially after an outing like THAT!

Have a peaceful and relaxing weekend! :)

PS - Thanks for your comment on today's "Special Guest" post. I appreciate your honesty.

darcknyt said...

I. don't. like. teens. :(

All in all, a successful evening of survival. :)

unsigned said...

Glad you're okay!

LL Cool Joe said...

When the guy whipped open his bag I assumed he was gonna grab a knife not a hairbrush!

The teenagers sound cute. Sounds like one of my 18th birthday party discos!

I'm glad you arived home safely. :)

Nicole said...

Shuddering at the teenagers and at the thought of Tornadoes.
Glad you made it home in one piece.

I guess we finally will have some storm here tonight too.
I hope it will contain rain.
Lots of it, sigh....!

Sparkling Red said...

DarcsFalcon: Teenagers are scary these days. So many of them have knives and guns. Fortunately these ones only had big mouths.

Ron: I'm sure there are rats in the subway (possibly even giant mutant rats), but they keep themselves well-hidden. Mostly what you can see running around at track level are these really cute little mice. They're the same sooty-grey as the floor, so they're hard to spot unless you have good eyes.

Scarlet: Thanks! I never considered myself as a suspense writer, but maybe I missed my calling.

darcknyt: I can remember being a teen and thinking it was cool to make a lot of noise and attract attention in public places. I was so wrong. And that doesn't make it any more fun to listen to the next generation being obnoxious.

Unsigned: Thanks.

LL Cool Joe: It was a very dangerous hairbrush. ;-)
I don't know how you deal with the 18-year-olds. You must be a very patient guy. Even the teenagers in my church's youth group are pretty rowdy. These raggamuffins with the potty mouths were downright horrible.

Nicole: Tornados are very unusual in my area. It's a big deal if a funnel cloud is confirmed to have touched down.
I hope you got some rain!

G said...

Sound like a normal commute in my state.

Except without the subway, but on foot patrol.

Aurora said...

yep, I am definitely with Darcsfalcon on that one. Actually I like Warped Mind's vision as well :) Stay safe!

powdergirl said...

Jeez lady, are you living in the jungle?

Honestly, if I were to hear about my two boys nearly running a lady over? The beatings would commence poste haste.

And your sub-way guy sounds like an OCD patient on the loose. poor bugger.

Glad he was onlylooking for a brush