I don’t know why I did it, but I did. And I swear to sweet baby Jesus…that man was going to beat my ass.
I guess I should start from the beginning…
It was a typical rainy summer’s day where everybody, not just the after work rush hour crew, but everybody had crowded the Times Square subway station. It was one of those train days that I knew I’d be wedged beneath someone’s armpit, with a fellow Corporate America survivor breathing heavily on my neck. The train station was packed. The first train came, and most of us didn’t make the cut, but another one arrived shortly. Typical schedule for the uptown 1 train.
The doors opened, people piled out and as the chaos cleared, there it was, God’s blessing to me. An open seat. Mine.
I claimed my seat for my 33 minute commute to Harlem with my laptop bag wedged between my knees and ankles, and gym bag propped up on my lap. I quickly became comfortable in my seat, pleased that I didn’t have to wait until 72nd street to attain one.
Until stinky got on the train.
Two stops in, we hit 59th street, Columbus circle, the connection to the central subway lines, and another port for us Corporate America survivors. Folks crowded in, the doors finally closed, and that’s when it happened. The stench was unleashed.
The fuck is that smell? My eyes darted over the people crowded in front of me. There was no homeless person in sight and no one eating food, so where in the hell was the scent of feces, fish, and vomit combined coming from?
I’m going to throw up, I thought to myself as I silently wished it were winter so I could bury my face inside of my coat and scarf. Two stops pass, 72nd street, the crowd rearranges, the scent heightens. I found the culprit. Dressed in a shabby suit, surrounded by his pong, there he was, arm extended holding onto the bar on top of me.
You know when you’ve had far too much to drink? The excessive saliva that forms inside of your mouth? The tell-all that you my friend are about to throw up?
It was happening. Right then and there. With 25 minutes left of my commute, I, Phenomenal Yetti, dressed in my favorite coral work dress was about to throw up all over the train car.
Think fast. Go to the next train car! Get off the train! Wait- why should I have to give up my seat because he smells like struggle?! Hell no, I won’t go!
And then my brilliant idea came, the brilliant idea that may have gotten my ass beat. I reached into my gym bag and gingerly pulled out my Victoria Secret’s “Love Spell” spray. I finally found use for the overbearing body mist given to me as a gift. I held onto the little bottle beside my thigh, wondering when was the best time. I decided to wait till 96th.
96th Street came and as the people moved and stinky shuffled down a bit, I LIGHTLY misted the air with Love Spell.
Relieved, I began to make moves to stuff the spray back into my bag when home-girl next to me said, “Yes, thank you! Can I have some?”
The rage. I wanted to slap her. Slap her for drawing attention to us and the fucking scent. I ignored her. Kept my eyes peeled in front of me and enjoyed the fresh scent of breathable air again.
“Who the fuck sprayed it?”
My eyes darted over to Stinky, whose face was an angry red. The ranting and threatening began. He paced in front of me and home-girl while yelling at all the occupants of the train until finally he realized it had to of come from either me or her.
“Which one of you bitches sprayed it?” The end of his umbrella pointed at my forehead. I looked down, home-girl looked at me with eyes burning a hole into the side of my face.
“Answer me so I can beat your ass!” People began to interject, another man tried to create a distance between the man, the umbrella, and my chest after he had kicked my laptop bag.
Sweet baby Jesus, please don’t let this man beat my ass. I will never do it again. I began to panic as Stinky, who we now know is unstable and violent, started altercations with other people on the train, all the the while keeping his eyes on me and home-girl.
110th Street, I grabbed my belongings, grabbed home-girl’s hand and exited the train… a few stops before my intended stop.
We stood on the platform, watched the doors close and then laughed until the next train arrived. Laughed because it was funny, and laughed because we may have lost our lives today.
Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, as promised, I shall never spray a smelly train car again.0