During my morning commute just moments ago, I witnessed a woman cursing in a low tone on the subway, wearing a reflective vest and some sort of surgical mask on top of her head.
"Who the f*** do you think you're talking to? What the f*** is that supposed to mean? Don't act like you can't hear me, you b**** ass muthaf***er."
The really odd thing about her blasphemous articulation was that she didn't seem to be talking to anyone in particular. She was discreetly directing her accusations at random individuals around her as if she didn't want the rest of the train to overhear.
I felt sorry for one young teenager, who fell victim to her momentary verbal onslaught and received the brunt of her wrath. However, he appeared to be sufficiently acclimated to eccentric strangers and knew how to handle this seemingly mentally-ill woman by simply ignoring her altogether. He gave her a diminutive nod of acknowledgement - as if to say, "You're right, I am that mutha****er" - before his eyes glazed back over in the upward, Ipod-induced stare.
I - on the other hand - could not stop staring out of the corner of my eye. I've certainly seen a fair share of deranged homeless in the last eight months, but I wondered what had led this woman to her current, despondent state (since she looked fairly normal; reflective vest and surgical mask notwithstanding).
I raised my eyebrow at an older man, whose subway snooze was clearly interrupted as the woman redirected her angry rants toward him, thanked my lucky stars that all of my mental clarity is intact, and went back to reading my newspaper after the reflective vest and surgical mask pushed and shoved its way through the crowd to exit the middle of the train - even though there was an open door right next to us on the front end of the car.