Lurch. No, not the character from the Addams Family.
No, Lurch is the nickname I give to this man I often see on the subway on the way to work in the morning. If I catch the 8:33 train from Hicksville to Penn Station, I usually arrive around 9:15 a.m. and make my way to the platform for the 1 Line.
It is usually only a short wait, a matter of a couple of minutes at most, before the 1 Line subway train rolls into the station. Now, when you commute on the same trains on a frequent basis, you start to notice some of the other regulars. What I end up doing for the commuters I recognize is to give them my own private nicknames. For example, there used to be this one woman around my age who was always smoking cigarettes while waiting for the train at the Long Island Rail Road station in Hicksville, and she wore this fringed leather jacket, sort of like this one, which made her look like a cowgirl. So I named her the Marlboro Girl. The Marlboro Girl really was addicted to her cigarettes. There was one time I remember where she emerged onto the platform at Hicksville just as the train was coming into the station and slowing to stop. To my utter astonishment, I watched as she whipped out a cigarette, lit it, and got at most three puffs out of it before she had to flick it away and board the non-smoking train. All I could think was "Was it really worth it?"
But anyway, back to Lurch. I first noticed him one morning this past summer. I was on the platform when the 1 Train came in. The doors to the subway car where I was waiting opened up, and there was Lurch, standing inside the doorway facing outwards as the door opened. I beheld a tall, rail thin Caucasian man with a bald head, a combined mustache and goatee, reddish patches on his cheeks, and big flaming blue eyes. He wore a sky blue suit jacket that highlighted his slender frame, accompanied by a bright colored tie. But it was those intense, slightly maniacal looking eyes that got to me. This guy was fucking scary looking!
His appearance so disturbed me that I entered the car through one of the other doors further down so I would not have to stand near him. I thought maybe I would never have to see him again, as I had not noticed him before. But as fate would have it, whenever I would take the 8:33 train into Manhattan and catch the 1 Line to my office, Lurch would almost always be there when the door opened. Lurch had become a regular. And sure enough, when I caught the 1 Line this morning, Lurch was there again. Thanks a lot Lurch! You're my pet peeve of the day.