To the jackass teenager who decided it would be fun to cling to the outside of the metro doors, Sipdey style, while the train was moving, thus prompting me to shout “Get off that train!” at the top of my lungs while I stood, horrified, on the platform, I would like to say a hearty fuck you. Yes, you hopped off unscathed and were thoroughly castigated by a nearby Metro employee. But once I picked my jaw up off the floor and looked to my little boy sitting beside me in his stroller, I saw a child red-faced and hysterical with tears, clearly terrified by his screaming mother. This poor child flung himself into my lap as soon as we got on our train and repeated “Man touched train!” over and over again, all the while keeping himself as close to me as he could possibly get. I tried to explain to him that the “man” who “touched train” had scared me by doing something he wasn’t supposed to do and that it was ok if he was scared too. He finally worked up the courage to say the phrase that must have scared him to death. “Get off that train!” my little son yelled. My son who loves trains, who looks forward to his train rides, was afraid that I meant that we couldn’t ride the train, that he wasn’t allowed on the train, that mommy would yell at him for being on the train, all because some idiot kid decided to take a life-threatening joyride at rush hour.
All evening my boy worked through his shock and fright, saying over and over again “Man touched train. Get off that train!” while I explained about being scared and breaking rules and yelling at people who scare me. And promising never to scare him again. Over and over I promised that. Finally he could piece together the narrative so it made sense. “Man touched train,” he intoned. “Is scary. Get off train!”
This morning? He ran to m, happily calling “Mommy!” then followed it up with “You yelled! Man touched train.” Yes, I yelled. Yes, I feel horrible. Yes, I wish I could throttle that dumb teen-ager.
So, fuck you, kid, for messing with my Friday night and Saturday morning and maybe putting a little chink in my son’s trust for me because I over-reacted to your stupidity. Fuck you for that.
And let me tell you, kid. If you’d gotten killed on that train, I probably would have felt bad for your mama. But I would have felt just as bad for the thousands of commuters you would have stranded while they scraped you off the damn red line. And I would never have forgiven you if my son had witnessed that. Yeah, kid. Fuck you.