Cease all conversation and cast your gaze to the floor. Here she comes, that crazy-ass lady, shuffle-loping from the rear of the train car. She ain't crazy, she swears up and down, and she ain't a drug addict – though the way she's clutching the straphanger pole like it was a length of hurricance fencing, with her legs powerless and the toes of her burned-out Keds tracing gyroscopic loops in the vinyl flooring, one might beg to differ.
The new crazy lady threatens to drift your attention away from that other crazy train lady you'd been studying the way you might watch a bug build a crumb-house. She was seated quietly, mashed between commuters on a bench seat, not bothering a soul – unless you're one of those rare individuals who believes ziploc sandwich bags have souls, because she is bothering the shit out of a bunch of those. One bag after another gets the same treatment from this one – strips of silver duct tape meticulously wrapped around both sides until the baggies are both reinforced and private. You can't see her expression because her head is down, at work, and even if it wasn't a giant pair of UV-blocking sunglasses/visors cover half her narrow face. She doesn't ask anything of her fellow commuters, and seems to harbor a million secrets, all of them awesome.
Miss Shuffles is seriously upstaging now, as her words slide together like two separate piles of cocaine dust and baking powder left out in front of a low-speed oscillating fan. She's whispering her demands now, pleading them, knees buckling. Suddenly, she stops short like she's got Sixth Sense powers. "Oh no, here comes that man. Oh, that man scares me so."
She's staring through the rear window, to a point behind this train car that you cannot see and, man, is the suspense ever building! Suddenly, as Shuffles reaches out to claw the air and Baggies has just finished off a box of 24, the train door clangs open and you become acutely aware that these other two crazies were just the undercard tonight. Because holy shit here comes the Maximus of Creedmoor outpatients, striding through the car like an unbathed tiger. Six-foot three with an extra eight inches of afro, huge naked chest and belly, gym shorts with bare feet that have been so frequently and brutally exposed to adverse weather that they've formed their own protective bark.
Forget that it's 20 degrees outside because you're not going to get this guy to buy into the possibility that weather exists outside of his head; you'd have a hard time convincing him that science has disproved the existence of unicorns, honestly. He is a tremendously solid tower of crazy and suddenly you and everyone else on the train is staring at him slack-jawed, like the Goonies getting their first glimpse of a secret pirate ship. It's marvelous. He's like the bigfoot of homeless people, and you almost can't believe you're this lucky. If, in this moment, you saw a mother shielding her child's eyes and chiding him, "it's not polite to stare!" you'd probably feel compelled to intervene. "Are you fucked, lady? LOOK AT THIS GUY! This is like a twelve-week streak of Christmas for any kid's eyeballs. Let some joy in!"
Shuffles is cursing out Bigfoot, critiquing his lifestyle – "You could at least buy a shirt!! How much could that cost? I jusshhht don't undasshtannnn..." – but no one hears her because their senses are officially topped off and plugged up by this incredible crazy-time rush hour trifecta overload. As your stop slips up on you, you hesitate for a moment in the doorway and take one last look inside the train, wondering if maybe you'll catch a glimpse of a Mayor McCheese wrestling a chimera to the ground.