Carry Me

May 4, 2008

One of the responses I get from people on the subway when they see Archie is some version of “I wish I could be carried like that.”

Now, maybe its a sign of the growing waistline of America and maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never really wanted to be carried around or thought of that as pleasurable.

The litter, palanquin or sedan chair does have a long history around the world, but has mostly been reserved for royalty. And while Archie may disagree, he is decidedly not royal in any sense of the word. The sounds (and smells) he makes are an example of his pedestrian roots.

Does this kind of comment arise from the fact that my fellow commuters are just plain exhausted? Possibly. Archie and I make regular subway runs during rush hour when folks are just waking up or burn out from the work day.

Or is it some fantasy of being royalty? The illusion of being carried through the masses, held aloft, praised (and despised) but always above the fray, above the dirt, off the ground as if flying.

It is certainly not my favorite thing to do — to carry Archie. I think it’s safe to say it isn’t his favorite thing either. He’s too stubborn and proud to enjoy being carried. We’d both be happier if the MTA just gave in and allowed dogs. Anyone who has been a keen observer of the clientele of the MTA subway system quickly realizes that dogs would in no way contribute to the decline of the system or reduce the overall level of humanity.


I saw a man push a woman out of the way on the stairs the other day and then they got into a shouting match about it.

A walking Archie may actually improve the level of discourse on the subway.

But I digress. The real issue, one I cannot understand, is the desire to be carried. The wish for some sort of relaxation or dislike of walking. A wish that I, as someone who loves walking, who loves having his boots on the ground, never really considered.

Perhaps it’s connected to flying. The dream of flight. This dream is somewhat universal as I understand it so combined with exhaustion it could explain the desire to be carried through life.

I guess the main thing that I find weird is something more personal. The idea that by carrying Archie, I’m pampering him. And then by extension, I’m the type of person who pampers their pet. When in fact, I’m just adhering to the rules of subway (barely).

And sure, Archie is spoiled in many regards, but being carried is certainly not on the list.

I think, for me, it’s the snap judgment about me as a person based on the dog. I’m sure this happens all the time for a variety of reasons, but this particular judgment, this particular perception seems to rub me the wrong way.