iPod and Drunk Subway Guy

Today I was on the subway with an acquaintance I’ve known since high school. We got on the subway at St. George station discussing ugg boots and how I dislike them, and I was trying to show him an example by pointing out someone wearing ugg boots. This we did not find.

There was this guy sitting down beside where we were standing, in front of us was a woman. The guy started tapping the woman and she, I guess, was scared and so with a frustrated expression, asking him what his problem was, walked away. The guy then got up and tapped a man and asked him where Donlands station was, and tried to get some elaboration, and the man tried to help him. For whatever reason he didn’t choose to adhere to the man’s advice and came up to me (within inches of me).

This guy was not in a normal state, definitely intoxicated, and he asked me where Yonge/Bloor station was, and I told him. He then asked me how to get to Donlands, and I told him to stay on the train; I told him I’d let him know when we got there. He then informed me about how “she” took his house, his truck and his two children, all because of his booze addiction (as well as crack). He also showed me how he was now drinking rubbing alcohol (Life brand) that he’d bought from Shoppers’ Drug Mart. He told me he was going to a detoxification centre but he had no hopes of building his life again, and that his wife wouldn’t take him back.

I tried to encourage him and tell him that as long as he was motivated to clean himself up, he’d at least have a new start. I told him it was good that he was going to a detox centre.

We were approaching Donlands and he told me that if it weren’t for me, he’d be on the train forever trying to find his station. He thanked me and held his hand out. I took it and shook it, it was rather dirty. (I didn’t touch anything with that hand until I got to Kennedy station and washed it.) When we got to Donlands and the door opened, he turned around and again thanked me, but the door chimes were going off. So I gently pushed him out of the train and told him to make sure he gets everything together, and bade him good luck.

I wondered afterward if I perhaps should have actually tried to help him find the detox centre. He told me he could barely see, and it seems if he were to go up to someone on the street and ask to help him find it, people would walk away quickly. I’m still thinking about that and wondering if I should have actually taken him to this detox centre. Not sure if it exists. Should google it. Apparently there’s a detox centre at East General Hospital at Danforth and Donlands.

I hope he finds it.

My acquaintance and I then sat down and continued our discussion about ugg boots. As it happened a girl came in and I noticed her boots, which weren’t quite ugg boots but were ugly nevertheless. A couple of stops later she was about to get off at Victoria Park station. So I asked her (because we were sitting right beside the door) if hers were ugg boots. She said no. I let her know that I thought her boots were gaudy anyway. She told me that a lot of guys had said that to her, but it kept her warm and comfortable. As long as it’s pragmatic, I responded. She was kind of cute.

Later we got to Kennedy station and as we went up to the RT platform I noticed another girl with boots, and on the platform I asked her if hers were ugg boots. She had apparently never heard of them. So I had to explain what ugg boots are. In doing so I also had to assure her that I was not crazy (and my acquaintance tried to reassure her that I was simply trying to show him what ugg boots are) and that I was, in fact, a student at UofT. And so was she.

As such, we talked about university, about tuition fees and about medical school, until we parted ways at Scarborough Town Centre.

In other news, I got the replacement for my malfunctioning iPod — brand new (or, at least, it has no scratches). I have to get a case this time.

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7 Responses so far

  1. 1

    ish said,

    November 14, 2005 @ 10:40 pm

    I am glad you helped out that chap… most people would have avoided him…

  2. 2

    kav said,

    November 14, 2005 @ 11:45 pm

    refurbished to the core man, i’m telling you. but you’re right, it’s much better than having scratches.

    you helped that man more than anyone else, so you did him kindly and shouldn’t worry about it now. you done good already hahaha.

  3. 3

    Sabeen said,

    November 14, 2005 @ 11:56 pm

    1) i really don’t like those boots either, i don’t see their appeal…i guess warmth is a draw but i’d rather not look like a yeti…
    2) i’m glad you helped him, and i really hope he found it…sometimes people just need someone to take that extra second and just care and listen…especially since in that situation a lot of people probably would have passed by him, sounds to me like you gave him a little hope:)
    3) you have so many subway stories…and there’s always a bit of a moral…you need some kind of catchy superhero name…something to do with a subway noaman…how’s that for random;)

  4. 4

    gee said,

    November 15, 2005 @ 11:24 am

    ugg boots aren’t that bad! but I guess they are for the price that they are worth. do you know what kind of boots that girl you were referring to had? I need some warm boots—no matter HOW ugly.

  5. 5

    sal said,

    November 15, 2005 @ 11:43 am

    when did you start posting again :what:

  6. 6

    bcl said,

    November 18, 2005 @ 6:10 pm

    unfortunately, its an unofficial rule on the tube/subway here in london not to talk to others. people keep to themselves though i’m sure if someone sparked up a conversation they wouldn’t get too many dirty looks.

  7. 7

    nomes said,

    November 20, 2005 @ 1:19 am

    It’s the same in Toronto, no one talks (unless they already know each other). The idea is to go beyond that and break the barriers that be. The trick is doing it without appearing threatening or crazy.

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