Tuesday, July 19, 2005

heat, annoyance, forgetfulness


I went swimming, despite my eye, because I was feeling tired of staying in. I braved the heat; the pool was strangely empty, the water cold, and it felt good to swim (although I was tired). The trouble began when I left the gym. I had to wait at 42nd Street for a train; it was quite hot on the platform, and the wait was long. When the train came, I entered a car that was not air-conditioned. I had to wait until the next stop to get out and enter the car behind it. A large woman pushed me out of the way to take the only available seat. I stood until 14th Street, which was fine, because then I got a seat. No sooner had I sat then the conga-drummers, whom I encounter frequently on the A train, sat right next to me. I admire their drumming but it was loud in my ears. I burrowed into my book (ILLNESS AS METAPHOR by Susan Sontag, quite interesting) and soon they left the car. Then at Canal Street, as the woman next to me left, a very large man and his girlfriend (wife?) got on, and the man practically sat on top of me as he squeezed his woman in next to him in a space that could barely fit one normal-sized adult.

I was shocked out of my reading by this large body crushing me into the metal bar that held me in place. I was pissed. The guy was huge, his body radiated heat, and he had a sour sweaty smell. I think he was hoping that I would get up. I would not give him the satisfaction. Instead I resumed my reading, and was so deeply into the book that I only looked up to see that I had gone several stops too far. So I got off the train and had to catch one heading in the Manhattan direction, so that I could get home. Unfortunately there was some train problem and I had to wait in the sweltering station for fifteen minutes for a C train, while a truly crazy fat woman screamed and ranted and paced the platform. She was so noisy that I could not concentrate on my reading, which made me acutely aware of how hot I was. By the time I got home I was in a foul mood, but I am fine now.

No comments: