Outside the Q subway train, it was bitter cold. The man was angry and he threw a sack side to side in one hand while in the other he shook a tattered and folded slip of onion skin paper. Most of the train passengers ignored him but suddenly a black woman who he had been sitting next to him jumped out of her seat and moved to the far end of the sparsely populated train car. The man continued to talk to the woman although louder since she had moved away.
“You’ve—you’ve got your rent paid, you’re warm—I’m homeless—take me home!” The woman shook her her head vigorously ‘No!’ and the angry man shook his heavy sack again and the tattered slip of paper. He raised his voice and addressed his conversation to the entire train car. “You all is happy but I’m homeless. I can’t go back to the shelter—they done thrown me out.” The passengers on the train noticed him more but no one did a thing. “You need to take me home with you. I tell you what I do—I call 911, or, or I blow my brains out—what you goin’ do?”
This statement succeeded in raising some eyebrows but still no one moved.
“You bitches—you be warm in yo’ apartments but I—I gotta live on the street,” and following this remark the man reached in his heavy sack and pulled out a handgun that he waved in the air. “I kill all you bitches!”
A general, silent wave of panic swept over the train car. Instantly, twenty people gasped. All were trapped and did nothing.
The train rolled into the Union Square station and the man got on his feet, angry. He walked around and nobody moved; nobody wanted to antagonize him. The man walked around with the pistol, a 45, pointed at the ground. The train stopped, the doors opened. The man hesitated and then he stepped off the train on the platform. Everyone held their breath. He stepped back on the train and the train doors hung open and then the man raised his gun to shoulder level and again stepped off the train.
The doors slid shut and the man, wild-eyed, stared back inside. The Q train pulled away and as we pulled away from the station, we heard a series of loud popping sounds echoing down the tunnel from the station, covered with a thin sound of screams, many screams.