How to Be…in the way.
by Lindsay Timmington
As I exited Grand Central Station the other day, I was walking towards the exit at a pretty good clip when I came across this guy-
except shorter, fatter and walking like a wind up toy-
shuffling his way through Grand Central Station at the astonishing speed of -2 mph in my general direction.
Walking in a NYC subway is often a game of chicken, fast walkers dodging the slow, the strollers, and the lost. People waiting until a millisecond before smashing into someone else before darting around or side-stepping. In my experience, the slow usually get out of the way. This guy didn’t. In fact he barely looked at me as he wobbled towards me, but I still figured he’d move. He didn’t. Two steps before smacking into me, he barely lifted his head off his crossed arms and screamed MOVE! with the ferocity of a thousand velociraptors.
I moved. I jumped. I peed a little. Then I cracked up.
It wasn’t upsetting, it didn’t make me angry, my feelings weren’t hurt. Despite old man-wind up toy’s nasty delivery he was just stating the obvious-one of the two of us needed to move and it wasn’t going to be him. Part of the reason I love this city is because it moves. Fast. There’s no room or time for stagnancy. Everyone is moving towards something. A taxi, a train, a job, a gig, a date, a show, the laundromat, grocery store–everything is movement, all the time.
And if you don’t move?
You’ll hear about it.