Whenever I get on the subway these days, all I seem to see is crying women. From full on floods of tears to carefully disguised dabbing at the eyes, rarely does a week go by where I fail to witness a visibly upset commuter. And it can’t just be the grim reali
szation that ticket prices are going up in the New Year.
It all began with the blonde with the coffee cup, crying quietly to herself as she stared mournfully out of the window on the F train into Manhattan. Then came the student-type who stood crying on Jay Street station for fifteen minutes one evening as we both waited for our long-delayed train. And more recently, one young Carroll Gardens resident was sobbing uncontrollably first thing in the morning as she made her way into work. Hopefully she used the waterproof mascara that morning, as that panda look is so 1987.
Clearly Brits aren’t exactly prone to major public displays of emotion. I’ve seen more open high-security prisons. But in all the years of commuting in London, I think I only saw a tearful traveller once or twice – and even then I can’t be 100% sure that it wasn’t a New Yorker on holiday.
So what makes this city’s residents so upset? It can’t just be the knowledge that I’ve settled down, after all. Maybe it’s the time of year, or – more likely – it’s the city itself with all the self-imposed stresses and strains that come with it. Relaxation isn’t exactly a New York way of life, let’s face it.
Whatever the case, I’m going to start carrying Kleenex with me wherever I go. I’ll always offer a shoulder to cry on, after all, but it’s nice to be able to clean up afterwards.