You're on the subway and your phone dies, but you've still got a long way until you get home.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT?
Stare dead onto the floor?
Take a glance at the overboard posters and accidentally make eye contact with a fellow subway rider?
Or look off into the distance, and then again make accidental eye contact with another stranger? We're one big family now!
I'm not much of a daydreamer, so if my phone's dead, I'm dead - literally.
I've got nothing to keep my brain stimulated for the next 40 minutes, not even music.
I am ironically writing this article on my phone on a subway car and am witnessing a case of "subway anxiety" with the power of peripheral vision.
A man sitting across from me begins calm and stares at the floor, a safe zone. It's the equivalent of "the floor is lava" game but, in this case, the floor is anything BUT lava.
As the ride progresses, he begins shaking his leg, then taps his finger repeatedly on his leg and becomes more restless.
He puts his hands together with only the tips of his fingers touching and arches his back to bring his face closer to his hands. If that's not a telltale sign of subway anxiety, I don't know what is.
Or maybe he's thinking of a grandiose plan. We'll never know.
There are also those people who are a bit crazy, and if you look at them for a tad too long right when they enter the train, they'll think that it's your way of giving them a friendly invitation to do whatever, or that you've got something against them.
One time I glanced at a man across from me and he noticed it and waved his hands and said "Hi."
I gave him a weak grin and looked away. Instantly, he raised his voice and said, "No one knows how to be nice anymore!" and shot up from his seat.
He proceeded to wave his hands at other people with bloodshot eyes while attempting to walk properly and, when no one said anything back, he screamed, "You guys don't know how to talk!" and ran out of the subway car.
Subway anxiety is VERY real.
If you experience it, remember that you're not the only one. It's all part of the New York City experience.