24 August 2008...3:54 pm

Bad Train Etiquette As An Alternative To A Not-So-Unique Tattoo In The 21st Century

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The L Train Spitter

By Ariel Kouvaras

After a rip roaring dance party power-hour at a bar in the microcosm of clones in cowboy boots who pay too much for an apartment in what was previously a Jewish ghetto that is Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I waited on the subterranean platform of the L train; but if you ask my Grandmother, the L train will always mean “elevated” and the abbreviation would read “El.”

The two fleshy sides of my underarms felt of corn-syrup sweat, which had the same sensation of two cottonmouth tongues kissing. I was drunk and hot, glaring down into the jet black subway tunnel at lame, empty tracks. 10, 15, 20 minutes after 12am – late night subway service is a reason for any New Yorker to wear a grimace and occasionally eye-roll strangers next to them.

I thought I was going to vomit into the trashcan, but then the air down there started to stir and the rolling steel on steel squealed. The elusive train arrived. The doors opened and manufactured cold air rushed my face and cooled the pearls of sweat beading on my forehead.

I found one of those coveted two-seater seats where only one of my sides is pushed up against a wall, hindering the potential of me being squashed between two buffoons: One smells of dirty PBR and cool-perspiration; and on my other side, the person who pretends not to notice their fat spilling over onto my arm. I settled comfortably into my golden throne and rested my head on a college advertisement. Nobody had yet to squeeze into the seat in between me and the pole. I was a lone sitter and coasting through the intestines of the city.

The train pulled into 1st Avenue station, and an emaciated woman in a short, gold, synthetic halter dress got on and homed in on the vacant seat next to me on my private island paradise – I wasn’t quite an island-monkey like the Brits are according to the Germans, but solitary and drunk. Feeling amicable and sorry for any poor soul not yet in bed, I slid my ass an inch or two over to make room for the skinny broad.

Despite the short hem line of her cheap dress, she sat down and spread her legs wide so that our knees bumped each other. I was steadfast. My feet remained firmly planted in their place, and I let the skin of our knees remain touching.

Unable to nudge my knee, she squirmed around, stood up and sat down again. She spoke unintelligibly. I could only make out faint sounds of verbal waste that made their way in between my earphones and eardrums. Was she talking to me, talking to me about my unbelievable knee planting stamina?

I made eye contact with a young twenty something across the way. He was leaning up against the sliding doors and wearing a white shirt and black horn-rimmed glasses that had everything to do with science class and sex appeal. He looked at me, then at her, and we smiled gregariously at each other. We had telepathically agreed on the plausibility of this skinny dame being truly unhinged.

The song was just changing on my MP3 player -that moment of latency between the last song and the next song to come, when there is utter silence and I am thrust into the world surrounding me. It was at that very moment, when she sat back down and whacked my leg with her clutch handbag. Fighting for my knee territory was one thing, but physical abuse brought out my worst fear: FIGHT OR COWER? I folded.

If a white flag had been handy, I would have thrown it into the center of the train car so that everybody could acknowledge my defeat, but my cowardice act of doing nothing wasn’t enough to appease her irate manner.

Just as I was timidly pulling my knee closer to myself, giving up my previous fight and forcing my whole skeletal frame into the wall, which had served as a safe place to rest my soused head on not too long before, she turned her mean jaw in my direction, opened her pink mouth, and spat a puddle of mucus and saliva directly on my gray suede boots. Some hit the area of my leg between boot rim and cut-off shorts. I sat there exposing my castrated balls and unable to do anything but dream of a vat of antiseptic and prowess.

Broken Social Scene_Lover’s Spit

Pictures courtesy of Zomboider and Streets Are Saying Things.

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