I feel Cruddy.
I sweep my fingers across my skin.
It’s clammy from the humidity. It’s driving me insane. The thick windows from the subway reflect my sparkling skin. My face has to look like this from the lights in here- the ridiculous brightness- it’s reflecting off of the sunscreen I put in this morning. Why did I even put that on? Its not like I come out side all the time…Some sun on my skin might do me some good.
The train glides to a stop, squeaking a pissed off cat. “Step back, the doors are opening.” The female recording plays through the train before new people flood in. The musty air is weighing down on every person that walks in the doors. Every average man, women, and child looks like a tired city go-er who doesn’t want to deal with you, look at you, or even touch you. They play human tetris until they all find a spot that they fit in. The elderly woman with the breathing machine gets the prize seat in a brightly lit corner- no one would push her out of the way. The blue collars are sitting on gum covered seats, each face is holding its own version of irritation and anger. The squirming kids with their brightly colored shirts are holding on too the poles with there parents surrounding them, glaring at the people surrounding them.
Then their is me, right in the middle of all this crazy. I’m sitting crossed legged, trying to mind my own self, with a brown paper bag with a everything bagel inside. I have plenty of room to myself- it’s just the average Monday crowd.
“Step back, the doors are closing” – the chipper recording plays again. The tired doors start to shut as an arm shoves through. The doors open again as a brightly smiling, scrawny girl in Roller-blades, steps inside.
You could see all of the adults eyes bug out of their heads to see someone who isn’t depressed. The blue collars don’t even look, and the breathing machine continues to hack away.
The only open seat on this train is next to me. She plops down next to me and I have to unfold my legs. I don’t like unfolding my legs.
I see from the side of my eyes that this girl is staring at me. um No Thanks. I Keep staring ahead. Slight irritation is bubbling in my stomach. I drown it out with a bite from my bagel.
“What flavor is that?”
My eyes flash to the left. The girl is watching me keenly. I take my time in sizing her up. She has smooth, white skin. Her eyes are beautifully wide and round- the color of a clear blue lake. I categorize her immediately as a middle class girl on her way to go meet some friends at a coffee shop. And she just broke the biggest rule of public transportation- don’t talk to other people.
When you take the underground ride you don’t make eye contact. You pretend the other people don’t exist. And if your like me you judge them so harshly, that it would be impossible to not see yourself as better then them. You catch your own reflection and sigh. You wonder how your life has dipped so low that you now have to take public transportation to get to school. You wrap your head around yourself, you eat your damn bagel, and you get off.
This chick isn’t doing that.
I stare straight ahead ad the train chugged to life. A minute passes and she is still staring at me. I just keep eating my bagel.
“The Onion flavor is really gross.” I can feel the air from her mouth as she talks to me. It smells all frutie like a lip balm or something.
I glance at the other people on the train. No one else is seeing this moment. This scrawny chick with wheels on fer feet -on the train, is trying to make conversation. I stare ahead. Roller blades leans back in her seat with a whine- her hands across her chest.
“You know it is really rude to ignore someone.”
I exhale loudly- maybe she will get the point that I want to be left alone now. The train slows down.
“Okay- well, bye this is my stop.”
Who rides the train for one stop?
I stare down at my last half of my bagel. Her reflection in the mirror shows a stiff body posture with her arms crossed.
Is she really that mad that I wont talk to her?
I put my hand out with the last half of my bagel and she takes it and snatches a bite.
“You face is all shiny- it’s kinda cool”
She exists the train and I cross my legs claiming my superiority back.