For most of my life, I have lived in the suburbs so until last year, I drove into work. Now I take a log train ride and a very short subway ride to get to my office.
Commuting has been quite the experience. I could go on for pages about the trade secrets, scandals and general gossip I have overheard on the train. It’s amazing what people will say in public seemingly without a thought to who else could be listening. I used to wonder why people made such a big deal about the ‘Quiet Zone’ located on the upper level of each train during rush hour. Believe me, I get why it needs to exist. The nosey part of me couldn’t wait to hear other people’s business. Now? I wish these people would just shut the fuck up. My apologies, dear reader, if this sounds harsh, but unless you’ve experienced it, there really is nothing like it. As I type, the woman behind me is on the phone with a hardware store threatening them with a lawsuit unless the proper countertops are delivered to her home in the next few hours. She has been living without a kitchen sink, from what I gather, for almost a month and the marble countertop she ordered has a noticeable chip in it and she has not been offered satisfactory compensation for the inconvenience.
I can sympathize with the woman and also with the customer service person she is on he phone with, but this conversation is really not that interesting, it has the attention of the entire car and I’m never going to know if she’ll ever get her countertop because chances are I won’t see her ever again and if I do, her issue will be resolved and I’ll be none the wiser.
As if the loud talking isn’t enough, the spread of the plague is also a concern. Last week, a woman sitting across the aisle from me, was describing her symptoms of influenza to her coworker. I heard all about her trip to the doctor and how she has the flu and that she feels like shit and that she shouldn’t have come to work that day. Intermittently, she was coughing. Hacking, actually. Revolting, phlegm spewing hacking. The woman beside me was equally disgusted and wondered aloud if we should move. And go where? If we’ve already been exposed to Patient Zero, we’re already infected. As much as it freaks me out that people actually wear surgical masks to walk around, this lady definitely needed one. You should have stayed the fuck home, lady, instead of infecting the poor people that had the misfortune of sitting in the same car as you. Fuck.
Yesterday, some university students were complaining that bedbugs have been discovered on campus. The subway line I ride makes a stop close to this university. Now there is no fucking way I am going to sit my ass on a subway car and risk taking home a bed bug. I had a student who had bed bugs once and she showed me her chewed up, itchy arms. From that day, I am terrified that I am going to bring them home from a hotel or from a vacation or from a plane and now from the subway.
Today, I got off the subway after standing for four stops and I was making my way to the office. In front of me was a man who should have been wearing a belt as his pants were below his ass as we were walking up the first of two sets of narrow steps. I have no idea how his pants were even staying up. I had my earphones in and even though they weren’t on, I still couldn’t make out what he was saying when he turned to face me. Without stopping, I took out an earbud so I could figure out that he was asking me as we approached our second set of steps. 14 more and I’d be safely on the street. This tiny landing was a blind spot. The security guards couldn’t see me and the people above me couldn’t see me yet.
He was asking me for change and I forgot the rule I was taught when I started working downtown. Don’t make eye contact with shady people. But this time I did, shit. So I politely said I didn’t have any change (which I didn’t) and I had almost made it to the first step when he asked if he could ‘get some tonight’?
I didn’t turn back. I was so scared I didn’t even get my free daily paper from the woman who greets me with it every morning. Five more steps and I was through the revolving door and in the lobby of my office building. My heart was beating a million miles a minute, but he didn’t follow me and I was safe and that’s all that mattered.
I shared the story with my one of co-workers and she told me that the man I had my encounter with was much more polite. Her admirer simply asked her, “Do you want some ass?”
I don’t think she had to verbally decline the invitation. I’m assuming that by walking away, these creepers understand that we are not interested in what they have to offer.
So, no, you cannot get some tonight. At least not from me.
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