Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 43
I regularly (somewhat voluntarily) welcome strangers into my personal space. At least on the metro.

Usually I’m late (either to or from work), desperate to get on a train (ANY TRAIN!) and brashly decide it reasonable to cram into a sea of tangled bodies. When the train doors shut, mystery limbs, stray fingers, purses, sweat beads and heavens-knows-what-else inch across the imaginary boundary I’ve erected around my body that says DO NOT CROSS (unless your name is Chris and you’ve been invited).

Then the regret seeps in.

[Editor’s note: Ask me about the time a creepy guy invaded my personal space on a moderately crowded train. Wait, never mind. That story’s FMTEO (for my therapist’s ears only).]

Anyway, where were we? Crowded trains?

(Insert seamless transition about occasionally un-crowded trains.)

When I’m lucky enough to find a seat, I sit relatively close to total strangers. And with the exception of murderous breath, it’s not a big deal.

But sometimes it’s a HUGE deal.

Like the time I spied the only available seat next to a large-girthed woman. (It was more like half a seat.) I quickly assessed the remaining surface area of the (half-a-)seat versus my (presumed) thigh/butt mass and concluded I could fit (my math may have been influenced by the cute, yet painful, stilettos I’d been wearing for 12 hours). I squeezed in as close to the outer armrest as possible, but my butt wouldn’t slide farther than an inch onto the seat.

Mortified, I considered standing up and moving to another part of the train, but the crowd behind me filled all available standing room.

I sat/hovered/balanced on one cheek for seven stops. My hip grew sweaty against her heaving leg, which spread itself onto my upper thigh. My calves shook with exertion and my back ached to rest against the seatback.

I'm still not sure which intrusion of personal space is worse: a purse up in your business or someone's thigh draped across your leg.

Print Page


Holly said...

so funny. your calves shaking with exertion was my favorite. and chris needing an invite into your personal space. lol

Alex M. said...

Oh, my....what will happen next Becky?

Kara said...


Jessica F. said...

I might just start riding the metro with you in the morning so I can watch all these things take place!

aniC said...

i'm laughing and ewww-ing all at the same time!
one time on the metro i accidentally sat by a creepy old guy. i fell "asleep" and was leaning into me and...uggh...i can't even finish the story cause it grosses me out just thinking of it. but it did end when he laid his head nearly on my shoulder and i bucked him off.
p.s. my word verification is "unumens". very fitting somehow.

aniC said...

HE...HE fell "asleep" not me!! my mistake makes ME look like the creepy one!