***UPDATED FROM CRIMINAL DECLAWING***
Okay, fine! I’ll deal with the occasional subway nail clippers. And I’ll tolerate those who eat entire overly aromatic meals on the train, so as long as this never happens to me again:
It’s the Friday before a holiday weekend. I left work in a good mood. One might say chipper. You may be in the same boat, too.
I boarded the Uptown A express at 59th St. and sat next to a man dozing off. Minutes later he awoke from my shoulder riddled with apologies. That was fine. I didn’t mind a bit. Rest your head upon me, good sir. That’s all fine by comparison to my near future.
At 125th St. an enormous man boarded and sat perpendicular to me. He emitted a smell only a 400lb man on a humid day could; that sour scent that rises out of the pours betwixt the rolls of an overheated neck. A neck in desperate need of a good scrub. I wore a skirt today; he wore cut-off sweatpants. Our knees grazed, but it was a crowded train; I dealt with it. It happens.
Sleepy Man and I chatted until his stop at 175th St. He bid me adieu and a good weekend. I reciprocated with a bon voyage on his weekend vacation to Florida.
I then subtly focused my peripheral vision once again on the giant man to my left. His flip-flops revealed he was not in violation of public (or even private) toenail clipping. If you haven’t already understood this, I’ll spell it out: he was icky. Not homeless, that’s an affliction I look towards with great compassion. He was just giant and icky and proved this by doing the unthinkable.
I know what you’re assuming right now likely involves sweaty man junk, nay, that’s thinkable (and yes, worse, but hear me out). As I awaited my station stop, this mass of ooze and juice extended his pore-clogged neck towards me and before I could retreat or duck, he purposely and breathfully coughed directly onto my face. I can think of worse things he could have done directly onto my face, nevertheless, I recoiled in disgust and horror feeling his warm breath pouring over my skin.
I lept from my seat out of any possibility of continued fire. I could feel his air still on my eyes, my cheek, my forehead. All I could think of is tuberculosis, tuberculosis, tuberculosis. Is that even a thing anymore? Fuck if I know. I just knew I desperately needed my stop to come so I could dash out into the open air, sprint home, and wash my face.
My friend Pat always jokes I should carry a loaded glock in my purse at all times. This would have been an appropriate time to have used it.
Have a good weekend, Reader. Make sure your purse glock is loaded.