Subway Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 80 quotes )
Of course, in Los Angeles, everything is based on driving, even the killings. In New York, most people don't have cars, so if you want to kill a person, you have to take the subway to their house. And sometimes on the way, the train is delayed and you get impatient, so you have to kill someone on the subway. That's why there are so many subway murders; no one has a car.
But most of all, I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them. I just want to figure out who they are and what they want and where they are going. Sometimes I even go to Fun parks and ride in the jet cars when they race on the edge of town at midnight and the police don't care as long as they're insured. As long as everyone has ten thousand insurance everyone's happy. Sometimes I sneak around and listen in subways. Or I listen at soda fountains, and do you know what? People don't talk about anything.
Ohhhhh."A lush-bodied girl in the prime of her physical beauty. In an ivory georgette-crepe sundress with a halter top that gathers her breasts up in soft undulating folds of the fabric. She's standing with bare legs apart on a New York subway grating. Her blond head is thrown rapturously back as an updraft lifts her full, flaring skirt, exposing white cotton panties. White cotton! The ivory-crepe sundress is floating and filmy as magic. The dress is magic. Without the dress the girl would be female meat, raw and exposed. She's not thinking such a thought! Not her. She's an American girl healthy and clean as a Band-Aid. She's never had a soiled or a sulky thought. She's never had a melancholy thought. She's never had a savage thought. She's never had a desperate thought. She's never had an un-American thought. In the papery-thin sundress she's a nurse with tender hands. A nurse with luscious mouth. Sturdy thighs, bountiful breasts, tiny folds of baby fat at her armpits. She's laughing and squealing like a four year-old as another updraft lifts her skirt. Dimpled knees, a dancer's strong legs. This husky healthy girl. The shoulders, arms, breasts belong to a fully mature woman but the face is a girl's face. Shivering in New York City mid-summer as subway steam lifts her skirt like a lover's quickened breath."Oh! Ohhhhh."It's nighttime in Manhattan, Lexington Avenue at 51st Street. Yet the white-white lights exude the heat of midday. The goddess of love has been standing like this, legs apart, in spike-heeled white sandals so steep and so tight they've permanently disfigured her smallest toes, for hours. She's been squealing and laughing, her mouth aches. There's a gathering pool of darkness at the back of her head like tarry water. Her scalp and her pubis burn from the morning's peroxide applications. The Girl with No Name. The glaring-white lights focus upon her, upon her alone, blond squealing, blond laughter, blond Venus, blond insomnia, blond smooth-shaven legs apart and blond hands fluttering in a futile effort to keep her skirt from lifting to reveal white cotton American-girl panties and the shadow, just the shadow, of the bleached crotch."Ohhhhhh."Now she's hugging herself beneath her big bountiful breasts. Her eyelids fluttering. Between the legs, you can trust she's clean. She's not a dirty girl, nothing foreign or exotic. She's an American slash in the flesh. That emptiness. Guaranteed. She's been scooped out, drained clean, no scar tissue to interfere with your pleasure, and no odor. Especially no odor. The Girl with No Name, the girl with no memory. She has not lived long and she will not live long.
I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.
Not many songs can fend off evil. But the right song with the right voice can be a weapon; anyone who's listened to music through headphones while riding the subway or plowing angrily through a rush-hour sidewalk knows how it can and separate you from them, allows you to say to the teeming masses that you are this and they are that.
It's a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for a two week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And still-that's how you build a future.
Here's what I love: when a great writer turns me into a Jew from Chicago, a lesbian out of South Carolina, or a black woman moving into a subway entrance in Harlem. Turn me into something else, writers of the world. Make me Muslim, heretic, hermaphrodite. Put me into a crusader's armor, a cardinal's vestments. Let me feel the pygmy's heartbeat, the queen's breast, the torturer's pleasure, the Nile's taste, or the nomad's thirst. Tell me everything that I must know. Hold nothing back.
More than a catbird hates a cat, Or a criminal hates a clue, Or the Axis hates the United States, That's how much I love you. I love you more than a duck can swim, And more than a grapefruit squirts, I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore, And more than a toothache hurts. As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea, Or a juggler hates a shove, As a hostess detests unexpected guests, That's how much you I love. I love you more than a wasp can sting, And more than the subway jerks, I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch, And more than a hangnail irks. I swear to you by the stars above, And below, if such there be, As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes, That's how you're loved by me.
…quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean "love" in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there
Then he explains Chinese food in Manhattan to me: 'See the way it works is, there's one central location out on Long Island where all this stuff is made. Then it's piped into the city through a series of underground pipes that run parallel to the train and subway tracks. The restaurants then just pull a lever. One lever for General Tso's chicken, another for beef with broccoli sauce. It's like beer; it's on tap.' It's amazing how convincing he is when he says this. There's no pause in his description, nowhere for him to stop and think, to make this up as he goes along. It's as though he's simply repeating something he read in the Times yesterday. This makes me love him more than I did just five minutes ago.
But I can stop on any corner at the intersection of two busy streets, and before me are thousands of lives headed in all four directions, uptown downtown east and west, on foot, on bikes, on in-line skates, in buses, strollers, cars, trucks, with the subway rumble underneath my feet... and how can I not know I am momentarily part of the most spectacular phenomenon in the unnatural world? ...The city may begin from a marketplace, a trading post, the confluence of waters, but it secretly depends on the human need to walk among strangers.
There are those wonderful moments of clarity in life when one is reminded how irreparably flawed we humans are. Once, when I was nineteen, on the subway in Boston I lost my balance slightly and bumped into an elderly woman. I quickly apologized and she replied, "Well, hold on to something, stupid." There it is. That's it. That's it in a nutshell. I don't want to sound negative, but I think every fetus should be shown a film of that incident, maybe projected up on the uterine wall, and then asked if it wants to come out. I am a strong believer in a woman's right to choose, but I also think that in the last trimester, the kid should be given every opportunity to back out.
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me."But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay." I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this. I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium. "Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined."I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years. "I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people." .... "A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
Bugis Street, once famous for its transvestite prostitutes - the sort of place where one could have imagined Noel Coward, ripped on opium, cocaine and the local tailoring, just off his rickshaw for a night of high buggery - had, when it proved difficult to suppress, a subway station dropped on top of it.
And wasn't it terrible, how much he looked forward to those moments, so much so that sometimes even a ride by himself on the subway was the best part of the day? Wasn't it terrible that after all the work one put into finding a person to spend one's life with, after making a family with that person, even in spite of missing that person...that solitude was what one relished the most, the only thing that, even in fleeting, diminished doses, kept one sane?
I envy the music lovers hear. I see them walking hand in hand, standing close to each other in a queue at a theater or subway station, heads touching while they sit on a park bench, and I ache to hear the song that plays between them: The stirring chords of romance's first bloom, the stately airs that whisper between a couple long in love. You can see it in the way they look at each other... you can almost hear it. Almost, but not quite, because the music belongs to them and all you can have of it is a vague echo that rises up from the bittersweet murmur and shuffle of your own memories.
I've wanted to find out as much about China as I could. But that China is only my China. Not any China I can read about. It's the China that sends messages just to me. It's not the big yellow expanse on the globe, it's another China. Another hypothesis, another supposition. In a sense, it's a part of myself that's been cut off by the word China. I wander though China. Without ever having boarded a plane. My travels take place here in the Tokyo subways, in the backseat of a taxi... all of a sudden this city will start to go. In a flash, the buildings will crumble. Over the Tokyo streets will fall my China, like ash, leaching into everything it touches. Slowly, gradually, until nothing remains.
The next morning-at least, I assumed it was morning, since we were all waking up- I felt like one of those twelve dancing princesses, who danced all night, wore holes in their shoes, and had to sleep it off the next day. Except, oh yeah: a)I'm not a princess; b)sleeping in a subway tunnel and having another brain attack aren't that much like dancing all night; and c) my combat boots were still in good shape. Other than that, it was exactly the same.
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they executed the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. I'm stupid about executions. The idea of being electrocuted makes me sick, and that's all there was to read about in the papers -- goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me at every street corner and at the fusty, peanut-smelling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn't help wondering what it would be like, being burned alive all along your nerves. I thought it must be the worst thing in the world. New York was bad enough. By nine in the morning the fake, country-wet freshness that somehow seeped in overnight evaporated like the tail end of a sweet dream. Mirage-gray at the bottom of their granite canyons, the hot streets wavered in the sun, the car tops sizzled and glittered, and the dry, cindery dust blew into my eyes and down my throat.
Some rooftop, water-tank looming, street-racket strangely quelledand other known and unknown there, long sweet summer eveningon the tarred roof:leaned back your head to the nightvault swarming with starsthe Pleiades broken loose, not seven but thousandsevery known constellation flinging out fiery threadsand you could distinguish all-cobwebs, tendrils, anatomies of starscoherently hammocked, blueblack avenues betwee?It was New York, the dream-sitethe lost city the city of dreadful ligh?wewent striding the avenues in our fiery hairin our bodies young and ordinary riding the subways readingor pressed against other bodiesfeeling in them the maps of Brooklyn Queens Manhatta?
New York has a thousand universes in it that don't always connect but we do all walk the same streets, hear the same sirens, ride the same subways, see the same headlines in the Post, read the same writings on the walls. That shared landscape gets inside of all of us and, in some small way, unites us, makes us think we know each other even when we don't.
It was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head. When we came into the station he was next to me, and his white shirt-front pressed against my arm, and so I told him I’d have to call a policeman, but he knew I lied. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I didn’t hardly know I wasn’t getting into a subway train. All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.
The young man walks by himself, fast but not fast enough, far but not far enough (faces slide out of sight, talk trails into tattered scraps, footsteps tap fainter in alleys); he must catch the last subway, the streetcar, the bus, run up the gangplanks of all the steamboats, register at all the hotels, work in the cities, answer the wantads, learn the trades, take up the jobs, live in all the boardinghouses, sleep in all the beds. One bed is not enough, one job is not enough, one life is not enough. At night, head swimming with wants, he walks by himself alone.