One of the New Yorker’s biggest annoyances is being on a train that is “stopped because of train traffic ahead of us,” ” a sick passenger on the train,” or “due to a police investigation.” Earlier today I was on such a train. Not only was I on the train, but I was in the actual car that the “police investigation” was taking place. This is a rarity, as most New Yorkers probably think a stopped train is just a game MTA employees like to play. A man who was supposedly carrying a gun (this could be true or not, as I did not see said gun) was all of a sudden taken over by two undercover policemen. There was a short scuffle, but overall the man did not resist too much. The policemen held the man uncomfortably pinned against the train, until about 10 minutes or so later, 6 uniformed policemen came to take the perpetrator away.
We were in a station, and I was only 1 stop away from where I was getting out anyway, but it was raining, and I already had to do my daily trek from 2nd and Houston to Union Square to deliver cookies, so I stayed put. Surprisingly everyone on the train remained calm, and minded their own business for the most part; no one complained about being late for where ever it was they were going – almost as if they see this on a regular basis. But it is not something you see on a regular basis, or at least I don’t. Maybe I am living in my own personal yoga bubble, but even though you hear about these things, and even know that they are happening every day, it is easy to forget or ignore.
I happened to have run into a fellow yogi and friend while on the train, and we were sitting together when this happened. I think we both had a similar reaction, where we personally felt hurt and a bit saddened by the situation. At one point I almost teared up, but it was not because I felt bad for the guy, or felt that I was in danger in any way. It was because the guy who was arrested and I are the same. The policemen and I are the same. Everyone who was on that train with me, we are all the same. I don’t necessarily think it was a good idea for that guy to be carrying around a gun, or even to own a gun (and this post is not meant to bring up conversation about gun control, that is a whole other conversation I’d rather not get into.) And I don’t know how I feel about undercover policemen hanging out on my train. But the only reason to carry a gun is to in some way protect yourself and I am sure we have all at some point felt like we needed to protect ourselves. And the policemen were just trying to protect those of us on the train. I am sure all of us at some point in our lives felt like we had to protect someone else. But until everyone on this earth realizes that we are all the same – humans, animals, trees, we are all the same – then we will all be living in a state of dis-ease. “Some guy” did not get arrested on the train today. Part of me was arrested too.