Mar 2, 2012

32 LIFE IS FRAGILE–RAGE STALKING THE TRAIN CAR

Warning-endless use of profanities, this was written from first hand experience, uncut and unedited.
RAGELife is fragile, things can change faster than you can catch your breath. Yesterday that fact was so apparent as the fragility of the evening shifted in the blink of an eye with a foreboding promise of shattering.

I was traveling home on the train with one of my colleagues when a young Caucasian looking man mid 20s early 30s boarded the train. He was dressed in urban wear with a ball cap. Soon after the train doors closed we heard loud music. The music ricocheted through the train car. The source of the loud music, the young man that recently boarded the train.

We were sitting a door and two seats down from him. People began looking around for the source of the loud music. Though unsettled by the looks on some of their faces, no one said anything. The music got a bit louder and as the train pulled into the next stop and a new set of passengers’ boarded things shifted quickly. One of the men who had boarded the train car asked the young man if he can kindly lower the music and all hell broke loose.

The atmosphere turned hostile taking on a combination of fear, irritation and apprehension as the young man who was asked to turn down his music began angrily hailing profanities at the man that dared to ask him to turn down his music. His rage was palatable as he spewed his outrage, “who the fuck do you think you are, telling me to turn down my music!
“Mind your fucking business!
“Who are you the fucking police?”
“Are you TTC fucking security, don’t come in here and tell me to turn down my music.”
“I paid to get in this fucking train!” “
“Fuck off! Fuck you!”
“Trying to tell me what to do.”
The gentleman who asked for the music to be turned down didn’t get an opportunity to respond as the raging man continued above a raw. “This is not your fucking home!”
“I am not in your fucking house!”
“I can do what I want, you can’t tell me what to do, you piece of fucking shit.”

The raging young man continued his rage of profanities flaring angrily for almost 5 minus until another young in his early 20s of mixed heritage (Caucasian and African Canadian) asked him to please stop the endless swearing. Oh heavenly father you would think he got up and slapped the raging young man by his reaction, this just lit the already blazing flame of his temper. I thought he would explode because he blew into more of a volatile rage as he turned his wrath on the serene young man. “Fuck you, you don’t tell not to swear.”
“Who the fuck do you think you are, I can fucking swear as much as I fucking want, you can’t fucking tell me what to do, you are fucking nothing, look at you, you want a fucking piece of me!”
“You fucking piece of shit, fucking shit, you want to take me on!” and he jumps up charging forward.

While the man raged and the young man responded gently the Asian woman sitting next to him, a seat between them gentle touched him as if to say, “Please don’t engage him.” Getting the message the young man smiled at her gently and remained quiet. His quietness seemed only to fuel the raging man as he sat back down but continued to cuss at the young man. Just as I thought things were dying down the still fuming got re-ignited as when he looked at the young man and started shouting, “I see your face is angry, you want to fight me, you want some of this, come I will fuck you up!” and he jumped from his seat, at this point I am thinking, ‘oh hell, I prayed, Lord please do something, this shit is getting out of control. I was very concerned because I did not know if he was armed or just verbally defecating. I kept thinking, ‘we all isolated in this closed train car and things has to be contained before the shit hit the fan.’

In an attempt to defuse things, I said, “come on please, don’t do this,” he looked at me and ignored me and moved into the space going toward the young man. The Asian woman she too trying to defuse the escalating situation she interjects without raising her voice above a whisper, she puts her hands out in front of her stopping the ragging young man from coming forward further toward the other man and she gently placed her other hand on the quiet young man sitting and said quietly, “please no.” The raging man sat down but was soon up again, he turned to the first man that ask him to turn down the music and cussed him some more, then to the young gentle man and cussing him violently then exited the train car at Main Station. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. I thanked the heavenly Divine for the divine intervention and relaxed the rest of the way home.

32 comments:

  1. I had to ride the train to school in undergrad and amongst other things, i hated the unpredictability of what could happen. Glad it didn't escalate further. Seemed like someone with a mental problem if u ask me.

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    1. I think he was spoiling for a fight, its the reason he had the music on blast. Anybody would have known to do something like that was to be offensive to others.

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  2. Na wa oooo. The guy was definitely looking for a fight. It could have been worse

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    1. Yes he was, and he set things up where he was guaranteed to get it.

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  3. This is a tad hilarious to me... only because i take the trains in nyc and this is all too familiar. Once i almost got into it with a crack head smh...

    ~Sherine
    Check out my blog, comment, and follow if you like!
    Confessions Of A City Girl

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    1. After some time and distance one can sure see the hilarity of the situation however at the time it just wasn't funny.

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    2. As I read this, I thought of many a trip on a NYC subway that sounded just like this. I'm glad the situation was properly diffused; it certainly could have escalated and ended with people getting hurt.

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    3. that is where my concerned centered. We were all locked in this train cab with the possibility of violence errupting, not a comforting thought. Things can change so quickly and sometimes not for the better.

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  4. I don't know if I could say it was hilarious even after time or distance...because from your description it could have escalated had another person reacted differently... some people WILL fight back, and then what?

    It has happened before and it will again. Crowd dynamics have their own personality and can explode at will. Not to be trifled with.

    There are times I don't trust a certain crowd/group based on something so I move away from it. Instinct, I suppose.

    I'm glad you are okay!

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    1. I too tend to move away when a situation seems to lend itself to accalation however in this case there was really no where to go. We were all locked in the train car, that is what may it for me more avidly volatile because there were no escape routes.

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  5. I find that most rude people are hurting for something... even attention, and they'll get it/take it however they can. Contented people are rarely rude. I think there are two types of rude people ... there are those who are having a bad day. Things haven't gone well for them, they're tired, discouraged, and out of sorts. These folks can usually be cheered up by a smile, a kind word, or a possible solution to their woes. The other type of rude people are those who are (in their minds) "better than you". They feel that you are so outclassed by them, that you don't even deserve common courtesy. There is no hope for these pathetic creatures.

    I am SO SORRY that you had to witness this, what a day!

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    1. Thank you, i did get rather concerned as he continued to escalate. I agree with your synapsis of rude people. I suspect at times i have been guilty of falling into the former category, not by taking my issue out on someone but rather staying very quiet. I usually would go so far as to say, "I am having a not so great moment now can you please give me a moment to deal and then I would get back to you please." Though it can be off putting it is the lesser of two evils.

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  6. We live in a society with a severe lack of respect for the people around us, and this is just an extension of that. Two thumbs up for those that tried to 'keep the peace' and to those who did not 'add fuel to the fire'. I cannot stand when people in public places annoy me with their horrible loud music. I can appreciate that you have a killer stereo/ipod/mp3 player/etc., but I don't need to hear it!!!!

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    1. i know right, its a personal listening device for a reason, its for one person only. It really is irritating when you can here the music blasting from their earphones. I either move or try to distract myself by reading, writing or catching a catnap, or else it drive me bounkers.

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  7. That was a really angry young man. He was spoiling for a fight. He knew what he was doing. It was all orchestrated as far as I am concerned

    1. Get on a public bus and play music at a level above that which is socially acceptable, thus invading other people's space
    2. Once anyone complains, engage him/her by being vulgar and intimidating such that that person feels obligated to defend himself.

    I am glad no-one engaged him too much as there would definitely have been a fight on that train.

    Have you learnt to drive now?

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    1. Absolutely i agree whole heartedly. You and me both.

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  8. Oh Crikey!! I Am so glad you and your fellow passengers didn't come to any harm. Very disturbing for you and worse when you can't get away from it. Pretty scary stuff , this man was defiantly un hinged. Hugs Sheila xx

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    1. Yes it was and God is good, my small prayer was answered and the situation was resolved when he exited the train car.

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  9. Oh my gosh! That was intense, i could feel my heart beat rise and freeze at intervals. Thank God you're ok

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    1. Intense is the right word to sum it up, yes.

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  10. I am not at all surprised reading this. Very often such things happen in public transport. The reason is that passengers as a whole don't join together to stop the misbehavior of the man. Most people keep quiet and watch the fun. This is the reason why such things happen.

    Sometimes back when I was traveling in a bus two drunken laborers got into the bus and started talking bad words in Hindi. In the state where I live most people know Hindi but no one told them to stop. Then one drunken laborer got up and deliberately fell on a young girl. Only one man and myself protested and told him to sit down. Others didn't say a word. The laborers once again got into abusive language till they got down. The conductor and driver did not say a word.

    Most ofter co passengers are responsible for such misbehavior in public transport.

    Very thought provoking post.

    Have a nice day,
    Joseph

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    1. Joseph you are so right, the many that sit and do nothing is both frightening and astounding.

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  11. I'm glad he left before things could escalate. I could feel the tension in the train car and can only imagine how you all felt.

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    1. It sounded like a squabble in on any Indian train or bus! But jokes apart - I think each one of us reacts differently to aggression such as this and some cultures are more controlled like your Asian co passenger. There is a lot of aggression going around and when we challenge aggression with aggression it gets worse. But thank god no one got hurt!

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    2. Yes Myne, it was tense and unnerving, its different when one has the option to get up and leave however when that option does not exist it changes the dynamic of things.

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    3. You are right Meera people's reaction to the potential of violence varies it is those very variables of unpredictability that is frightening. Many have loss their lives because they interven. many have loss their lives because no one interven. No one really knows, but it is horrifying to think of oneself in a situation where no one tries to help and the outlook is bleak. Scary indeed.

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  12. I think the man's behaviour could have been under the effect of alcohol or may be he was mentally deranged. Not at all a normal behaviour.
    I am here thru' Ramakrishnan's blog.

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    1. Perhaps one never truly knows. It simply is unsettling to me in the midst of such uncertainty.

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  13. Na wa ooo! What sort of unconstrained rage is this?

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    1. Some days you never know what you would encounter. So many young people men and women losing their minds. It can be a scary situation.

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  14. Na wa o! what sort of rage was that? Glad he didn't do anything violent.

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    1. Seems as if he was spoiling for a fight and found it to some degree. Luckily the men who engaged him were of calmer continence.

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