Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nuts and Popcorn On The 7:41...

OK. I'm going to be honest here.

I had something I wanted to write about but I'm having a hard time concentrating.

A few months ago, I started doing most, if not all of my writing on the train. It's the only time, aside from late at night, that I have to myself. For the most part, it's been a pretty decent escape. Sometimes I write in the morning on the way to work. Sometimes I write in the evening on the way home. I usually sit with my tiny computer on my lap and stare at the screen the entire commute.


I'm pretty sure I look like a douchebag and for the record, I don't agree with my spellchecker. Douchebag is one word.

I also get really self conscious of my fingers.

All the metaphors that have been used to describe the typical NYC morning commute, are pretty accurate.

"We're packed like sardines in here."

"It's like a herd of cattle."

You get the picture.

So at any given moment of any given train ride, I'm sitting approximately a pubic hair away from some, fat, smelly, stranger.

I'm pretty positive that most of the time, the person next to me can see exactly what I'm writing about. Today, my traveling companions happen to be particularly distracting.

I am sitting in one of those, 3 people face the other 3 people, seats. Except there are only 4 of us.


For starters, the woman across from me and to my left, is so big, that she is taking up two seats. That doesn't bother me at all. She is who she is and she seems pleasant enough. She's wearing a fine argyle sweater and brown corduroy slacks. She seems quite content but she's a nodder. A nodder is a person who drifts in and out of sleep throughout the commute and repeatedly wakes herself because of the sudden jerking motion of her nodding head. It's a frustrating feeling to experience but even more frustrating to watch. It's been going on for almost half an hour and I can't take my eyes off of her. It's putting me in a trance. I want to put her in a neck brace and staple her eyelids open. It's like seeing a car accident about to happen. I can't look away.

To her left and directly across from me is a young-ish guy. He's probably around 30 years old. Button down, Khakis and loafers. He looks like a poor man's James Spader. This guy is the reason I hate the train. He's sitting with his legs spread wide open and stuffing his face with an obscene amount of popcorn. At this very moment, there is a piece of popcorn stuck to his nuts. I'm not sure whether I should punch it or eat it. He's driving me insane. I can hear every bite, as if he were attached to my torso, in a giant Baby Bjorn and chewing in my ear. I am mad at him. I hate his big, fat, nuts that are practically in my face and I hate that he's a fucking pig. Damn you James Spader. Why must you torment me?

Lastly there's the guy directly to my left. He's an older gentleman and he smells like bagels and spit. He's got a white beard and he's fallen asleep, face first onto his briefcase. I don't want him to be dead. I would imagine that these things happen all the time. Please don't be dead. Just think of all the Sudoku puzzles you have yet to solve. Think of all the pumpernickel bagels that await you. Your white beard beckons them, like a spider's web beckons the unknowing fly. Oh, he just snorted. Thank God.

Women train conductors are hot.

Out-Numbered by big, fat, nuts and popcorn...

Shit. This is my stop. Gotta go.