Wedged into the subway. Stuffed in by the doors and so sensory aware, it throbs. The lights flicker, the rhythm and motion should rock me into nap time but instead throttle my brain inside my head. We are squished. My messenger bag is rammed into my back as the desperate passenger throws all logic aside and becomes that one more person guaranteed to make this less than comfortable. The guy seated in the last bench spot keeps nodding off, his greasy hair touches my hand every time he dips and lands on the bars. The girl getting hugged by a man thrice her age has her goddamn overstuffed backpack on, taking up the space of what could be another 2 people. Why won’t you middle-of-the-car people move further in? Assholes with plenty of room to gesticulate to one another in animated conversation. Give us a little break here would ya? Stop hugging the pole, lady in fur next to me. How do you not see the 4 other people vying for a handhold on your personally claimed teddy bear substitute? Older gentleman straphanger apparently feels that it is his right to lean his aching back down the whole length of the bar behind him. Are you really that oblivious to the rest of the situation? Don’t worry, we’ll all just fall onto you when the train stops and we lose our footing. Dude with metal in your headphones, the whole car has no interest in hearing your mundane bass line, and no one will think you’re cool when you have to wear a hearing aid at age 15 because of your lack of concern about it now.
I get a seat. I get a seat!
I get kicked 3 times by the suit next to me, presumably to make sure that I’ve seen just how quirky and cool he is for wearing orange socks, the same color as my shoes, underneath his seemingly conservative pinstripe grey. Someone should tell him that a grey suit with orange socks and brown wingtips does not make for an attractive fashion statement. The 8 year old who ignores his mother’s repeated urges to hold on to something air surfs until the train screeches to a halt and he falls into me. I smile at him and say, ‘maybe now is a good time to start listening to your mother’. He reddens and sulks back to her outstretched hand, refusing to make further eye contact with me. Across the way, a 20 something wears a black and white striped shirt and pants with stripes that almost do, but don’t quite match, and I look away rather than get a migraine from it. Beer belly drunkish dude weighs approximately 400 lbs and let’s his jeans start well below where his shirt ends. This is not a muffin top. This is a whole new level of inappropriate. Popover. Woman with baby takes the seat graciously given up by Mr. misstriped and parks her stroller smack in the middle of the lane. Gives dirty looks to anyone trying to squeeze past. The greasy hair, acne prone, pierced chin boy who was nodding off wakes up and gives disturbingly dirty looks to the baby. We are only at 33rd st. 5 more stops to go and I think I’ll make it. Oh yes. Increase my fare MTA. This is an experience I’ll gladly pay more for. Or maybe next time I’ll walk.