by Lynn Kim Do

On The News, On My Mind

I usually don't take threat deaths very well, especially from something called "ISIS". Okay, okay, so I didn't get the threats personally but my city did. We (as in the United States) are all on high alert but honestly, it's just inconvenient. These are the thoughts that ran through my head as I walked into the subway as an ignorant but romantic civilian who really isn't afraid to die. 

Flight Bomber Jacket - Konus Brand // White Checkered Button Up - Motel Rocks // Long Tail Tee - Threadworkshop Co // Skinny Denim - Vintage // Mesh Heels - BCBG

My roommate told me that New York City could be next. That we could be next. That Time Square and subways should be avoided. 

I couldn't help but find that piece of information incredibly silly. Even silly that I find it silly. A few things crossed my mind. More honestly, they were excuses - Ah, not me! I can't die. Am I not invincible? Created to die, not at the hands of a terrorist, but by my own demise?

Or to be even more honest, this whole thing was very inconvenient for my daily routine. I didn't want to ride a Citi Bike to 96th street in 40 degrees weather, colder when the wind would hit my face. Then from 96th St, I would have to make my way to 110th St. I just wanted to take the subway. 

The excuses sounded like this -- 
They would only hit the subways during daylight. 
Or peak hours.
Or prime locations. 
Or the infamous -- Hey, if it's my time, it's my time.

But as I sit here on the subway at 11:27pm at night heading uptown towards Harlem, I look around and wonder what it may mean to die here, at this very second, with these people around me. I take another look around. I try to remember every face around me -- the intimate couple who has this connection that I can feel just being several feet away. I even recognize him. I remember meeting him at an event many months ago. He was trying to hit on me. I was trying to brush him off. He was drunk. I was too sober. Now look at his Jean‑Michel Basquiat nature with this gentle woman. They look like they're in love. That they can light up the train with their tongues. Then there's the man with a large obnoxious bike near the door. He's leaning on the door that says "Do not lean on door." Rebel. He has short hair with a few kindergarten braids grazing his shoulders. He is a walking oxymoron. Where can he possibly be going? Bronx? Then there's a white woman with a silver nose ring, pasty skin, and bright red lips. She is sandwiched between a Latin chick with her face glued to her phone hidden behind her Louis Vuitton bag and a younger Black girl with pink uggs. I simply can not remember any one else. Not all these people, all these weirdos.  I can't even imagine what I look like to them. An Asian girl typing viciously at her phone with fringe boots, a fringe cell phone, a book bag, and a soft pink turtleneck sweater. We are a collective group of weirdos. I guess if we are going to die, we will be the most misfit subway car. God, we will make headlines. 

Photos by Thaya