Semi-long day at work, I’m getting home two hours later than usual, yesterday evening. For the last third of the train ride I suffered through the shenanigans of a group of five late-teens/early twenties females who were being, well, the near stereotypical archetype of hood rats. The attempt to simply out loud them via my iPod was futile unless I was willing to risk hearing loss on my part, I wasn’t. Between way too much intimate detail of sex acts than what is proper for a subway during rush hour and the volume, I was really hoping the next stop would be the one in which they disembark.I really hoped that for several stops. As Murphy as his blasted Law would have it, I’ll let you guess at which stop they finally exited… Yes, the same stop as mine.
Grouse. Grumble. Grimace. Groan.
As I’m walking down the stairs from the elevated trains, a few steps ahead of them, I feel this odd tingling that stops me in mid step, but is gone just as fast, so that I barely break stride and continue. I can tell they felt it also because whichever one was cackling at the moment went silent and I heard another let out a “Whoa!”. Before I can even begin to fathom what that could have been, a mighty roar of thunder rolls overhead. If it was four seconds between the tingle, the stop in mid-step and the clap of thunder it was a lot of time. The bark of thunder was so loud, fierce and sudden that a couple of young women screamed in surprise. Every now and then my mind surprises even me with how fast it can extrapolate information, process it and come to a conclusion. The girls screamed; I on the other hand was, without an emoticon, laughing out loud.
Note to self: Bursting out in laughter in front of a group of ghetto girls that just screamed because of thunder — bad move.
Girl A: What the fuck are you laughing at?
Me (I turn quickly already knowing the answer): Are you addressing me?
Girl A: Yes, what the fuck you’re laughing at?
Me: May I ask you young ladies a question? Why did you scream just now? (You know the saccharine was dripping quadruple time, right?)
Girl B: ‘Cause the lightning scar- suprised us. (I give this one points for catching herself before letting it slip that it scared her.)
Me: Was it the lightning? Any of you really see the lightning or was it the sudden thunder?
Girl A: Okay it was the thunder. Big fucking deal, ain’t sayin’ nuttin’ on whatchu think be funny. (I know the expression on my face slipped for one second at the butchery of our native language; I know it did.Luckily, they either didn’t notice or more likely had no clue that was the reason.)
Me: Okay, you are all younger than I so I am going to presume you remember more of basic science than I. What comes first, thunder or lightning?
Girl C: Duh, lightning! Light travels faster than sound, so most of the time you see lightening before you hear the thunder unless it’s like right on top of you. Then it looks and sounds like one. (Plus points for the NYC edumacation system – yay! Minus for the tone of voice that was obviously proud of knowing something most primary schoolers learn by first-grade and thus missing the entire point of my snark).
Girl A: And the lightning hadda be like right ova our heads to be all loud like dat. We gots all dis metal ’round us we coulda like died and shit. That ain’t funny.
Girl D (obviously not wanting to be left out of the conversation: That’s why it made me yell.
Me: So those of you that “yelled” did so because you thought you could have died? Right?
Girl A: Yeah and?
Me: If you hear thunder and you have enough time to scream about it, however close it was, and I agree this had to be right on top of us because we all felt a piece of it, that means we survived it. (I literally see the epiphany dawn in Girl C as I speak.)
Me: You screamed because you were thinking “Shit! I could have died!”. I laughed because I was thinking “Shit! I survived!” See the difference? (Girl C and the up to now silent Girl E nod.)
Girl E: See (Girl A’s actual name)? Lookit you all ’bout to start some shit and the lady ain’t even thinkin’ ’bout ‘choo! She just happy she ain’t dead. Now let’s go ‘fore it start coming down.
Me (turning to go): Goodnight ladies, stay dry!
Two of them, I think Girls C and E respond. I hear one say (Girl E?, presumably to Girl A) “Don’ hate, ’cause you know you wrong”.
Weather wise, while other places were pelted with hail, we didn’t get a drop of rain in our area last night. The entire storm for us existed of that one hell of a bolt of lightning that we felt but didn’t see and the ensuing thunder. I personally think the entire exchange was a message from the universe to the two of us (Girl A and I). Girl A and I felt the exact same tinges of current and heard the same loud thunder, yet we had two very different reactions to it.
Of the two mindsets, I have to say – it’s nice knowing where my head space is at these days and I like it !