Friday, January 30, 2009

Me and Larry Flynt Down in the Subway

New York is so weird. Sometimes I love living here, and sometimes it feels as though the city is a nasty schoolyard bully that steals my lunch money and then repeatedly punches me in the face until blood is running into my mouth and I am spluttering knocked-out teeth like chiclets.

Friday was one of those days. I just felt defeated and tired. A rat on a wheel, if you will. Sometimes it happens.
Even to me.
I know, hard to believe.

At the end of the day, I peeled through the crowd on the N train and actually scored my ass a vacant seat. Then suddenly I sniffed and sniffed. Something smelled like an old sneakers rotting in a vat of spoiled milk in rat-infested deli somewhere. Warm waves of stale, burned coffee rose up to my nostrils like cat pee on a shag carpet. What the fuck?

I grabbed my purse and realized that the smell was me. Awwwwwesome. I had purchased a brand new oversized travel mug (Ha HA! what a clever devil I was, buying a cup three times the size of a grande latte, so as to transport more caffeine than humanly possible on my morning commute, and not have to stop once for a refill! Yes! Brilliant! Snaps to me!!!) and it had dumped inside my bag, and a stream of cold, end-of-the-day coffee was peeing quietly onto my leg.

Nice. Thanks, Baby Jesus. Why, man? Why?

Anyway, regardless of the fact that I smelled like the dumpster behind the Starbucks, I was not getting up. New Yorkers fight hard for their subway seats; we have an obnoxious sense of entitlement to a hard-won ass-planting if we can score it on a rush-hour train. This is ironic of course since most of us spend our days sitting on our duffers in climate-controlled cubicles, but still. I learned how hardcore New York subway seat jockeys can be in my ninth month of pregnancy. I was still commuting to work and sometimes I could stand for an entire 25 minute ride, my jutting belly literally poking some white collar fuckwad in the Wall Street Journal that he had splayed open to better enable his hiding and pretending not to notice me.

But that night I almost did give up the seat. Because a giant boulder of a man came and stood over me.

He was terribly unfortunate-looking. He had a huge, protrusive stomach and the jowly, frog-like face of Larry Flynt, with a neck that sagged lazily over the collar of his buttoned-up shirt. Wait a second, I thought. Larry Flynt can't be on the NYC subway. He's in Washington, petitioning Obama for a porn industry bailout. Besides, he's in a wheelchair. He can't hold a wide-legged stance in my personal space on the N train. That man's legs don't even work.

Gross. This dude was most deliberately standing inside the invisible box where there's only room for me. Even on a crowded train there's still your dance space and mine. You don't need to say it, it's just what we all know. And so, like a freaky secret between just us, he stood there. And stood there. And I couldn't do anything.

Then he started clenching and unclenching a fat, purplish fist. Then he put his hand in his pocket, removed it, and poked his tummy. Then he reached down and readjusted the front of his pants. He systematically repeated these actions while I sat there, all of this happening disurbingly close to my face.

Goddamn it. Not moving, I thought. Don't care how uncomfortable you try and make me. You can't win. I win. Today is for me.

It became a dance...I watched as he took on a rhythm: clench, unclench hideous fist, place hand in pocket, take hand back out, poke belly, shift balls.

Still I would not move.

Then, inexplicably, he got tired of trying to engage me and moved on to someone else.

The train stopped at Queensboro and a flood of people migrated to the 7 train and he shifted his stance to tower over the Asian model in the stilettos and faux-Cheetah coat, which wasnt even being worn ironically. I guess he thought she was more worth the puppet show than me.

And I rode the remaining stops home, wondering...did that really just happen?


Anonymous said...

I can't believe how racist you are. The N train? Really?

Sorry you kinda got molested. Are you allowed to punch people in the nads in New York? Too bad the coffee wasn't hot--you could've burned 'em.

rkintn said...

I have this great mini taser I got from a relative at Christmas this year. I haven't tried it out on anyone yet but I have a feeling it woulda made that dirtbag back up outta your space PDQ! Let me know if you want it, I'll be happy to send it to you:) LOL

xl said...

I know what you mean about the personal space thing. You know, like when several people walk side-by-side and hog the sidewalk or hold a conversation such that they block the hallway. I keep going and don't let them win that game.

But one time I got pushed off the sidewalk by some Secret Service guys guarding a Presidential candidate. Uh, that was OK.

The Third String said...

Should I have adjusted my belt first?


One of us is a troll. said...

Hmm... you have just given me a greater appreciation for my 35 minute commute in my own personal conveyance.

Memphis Steve said...

I haven't ridden enough subways to have an experience like that. In Memphis we have the trolley. Last time I rode it a black girl sat turned in her seat so that she was staring at me. Then she said "I hate white people." I, being a paragon of virtue and political correctness, politely replied, "fuck you, too, bitch." Yes, life is grand here in the Shining Shitty on a Hill. We're all filled with love and mutual respect. Thank God we don't pray in school anymore because you know, THAT was a huge problem.

Krissyface said...

Jack, didn't you know that the "N" stands for "Nadpunch"?

Rkin, Dude, where did you acquire that? I want one of those bitches.

XL, Which presidential candidate?

String, Nah, I'm used to your puppet show. Omglol!!!

Scoot, i'm jealous of you. Except that you have to drive in more snow than me, usually.

Steve, What a crotchbucket. Why would anyone deliberately incite anger and hate in another person? I just don't get it.

rkintn said...

My ex's sister got it for me for Christmas! It's pretty cool, actually but I had to put it up cause my 5yo boy got a strange, gleeful look in his eye every time I fired it up LOL I have no idea where she got it, but I guarantee that all you would have to do is hit the button and the sound alone would make ole Nasty Larry's nads retreat to higher ground LOL

Krissyface said...


Maybe I'll ask my ex's mom for one...

rkintn said...

I forgot to mention that the ex and his sister don't get along LOL I kinda wondered if she gave it to me to use on him LOL I guess the next time he makes a pass and acts stupid, I'm gonna give it a trial run:)

Pronto said...

now i'm kinda glad that

what happens in new york,

stays in new york.

just hopin'

oh, and what's the problem.... i love the smell of coffee in the morning......

xl said...

"Which presidential candidate?"

John Anderson, Independent in 1980 election. Attended rally at Univ Michigan.

Wow, that was awkward said...

I kind of miss public transportation. Its all I used while living in Chicago. The crazy people were awesome entertainment to and from work.

Denver is a driving market. We just curse each other from the comforts of our cars.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Oh, that's gross, but I LOVE your writing, (if that's any consolation).