There are lots of crazy people in NYC and they love the subways. As I was commuting to work this afternoon I heard a woman’s voice loudly proclaim, “I am the second coming of Jesus! I am Shesus! Bow Down to me.” I looked up to see a woman in a modest sundress with a scarf wrapped around her head and a Starbucks bag violently swinging from one hand. Shesus was a very well kempt, expensively caffeinated, 20 something year old black woman. She was also filled with rage, screaming at random women, “How many abortions have you had?” Coming face to face with a woman who looked like she could be a model, “How many baby daddy’s do you have?” A woman sitting down suddenly yelled, “Oh shut up!” Shesus fired back with, “Repent! Have your prayed today? Bow down to me!” “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” The woman shouted. Shesus walked up to her, glared at her, then started to walk down the train car continuing to spew her spiel. The woman stood up, threw down her back where she had been sitting, and took several angry steps toward Shesus. You could cut the tension on that train car with a knife. There was a collective breath in as everyone prepared for the worst.
After several angry steps the woman stomping after Shesus started to morph her walk into a dance, shoulders rolling back, hips swaying. I was beginning to think I no longer knew who was crazier. This is New York, you do not go after crazy people on public transportation, especially not on an express train with no hope of exit for a long period of time, we were full minutes from the next stop. Shesus began to mockingly mirror the dance moves of the woman coming toward her. Then it happened…the woman took a swing at the second coming of our lord and savior. Shesus gracefully hinged back to miss the swinging fist. Was this real? Was this choreographed? Crazy knows no bounds in this city, anything is possible. Then I heard music. There was a beat. The two women were moving in time to the beat. Their fight became very intricately and creatively choreographed. At one point the woman who went after Shesus was face to face with me, she smiled, I returned the smile. I had to hand it to her, she was a good dancer and actress.
The music and the dance ended. The women went to separate doors and patiently waited for the train to arrive at the next stop. Everyone in the train car was left a little dumbstruck. After a long pause someone began applauding. Slowly we all joined in until the train car was filled with wild applause. It is hard to tell if we were clapping because the two women were quite talented or because we were relieved that none of that was real. Just before the doors opened, the woman who was the attacker turns to us all and said, “Just a little comic relief for you.” There was laughter all around.