Wah Wah Wah, said the guy next to me on the subway this morning. I had headphones in, was listening to Simon and Garfunkel's "America," a song that I have fallen really in love with over the past few days and that I have been starting my morning commutes to work with.
I took out my headphones so that I could hear what he was saying.
"Are you a Blood?" I thought he was joking. He didn't immediately scream Crazy Person when I sat down next to him. He looked like a normal enough guy, a sane enough person, an Asian guy in his twenties. Again, he asked me if I was a Blood. I told him that, no, I was not a Blood.
"Are you sure? Because someone told me that the guy who gets on the train at DeKalb with a red hat is a Blood. You look like him. I am sure it's you. Are you sure you're not a Blood? My friend told me had a red hat like you. It's you, I know. I'm sure of it."
I kept nodding my head No as he continued with his monologue, asking the same question over and over again. I put on my headphones and tried my best to ignore him, to tune him out, to tune out my own fears that this man might stab me, that he might pull a knife out of the bag sitting on his lap that he keeps reaching into and cut me in front of all these morning commuters doing their best to ignore this man.
Paul Simon sang in my ears: "Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping.
I have lived in this city long enough now that I can sit on the train next to a crazy man asking me if I am a Blood and still manage to halfway enjoy my ride to work. Turn up the volume on your headphones loud enough so that other noises, crazy people talking at you for instance, take on the sound of a murmur underneath it all, a Wah Wah Wah trying to get your attention, trying to waste your time, trying to engage you in nonsense. Make the world you want to inhabit loud enough to silence any other worlds.
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all gone to look for America
This year, 2012, is ending in just a couple of days. There is a forecast of snow.