On the subway train you can be packed in with people and yet be totally by yourself. You have people brushing against you from all sides, but refuse to look at any of them, let alone talk to them. I think it’s only common curtesy to offer up a hello if you’re pressed against someone’s ass. And normally, society would dictate this as well. Not so on the train.
On the train it’s all about avoidance. About looking at anything other than the people next to you–lame advertisements, books, those emergency signs that you can recite from memory from having looked at them forso long. I’m sure the only reason newspapers sell so many copies in this city is so people on the train can have something new to look at.
I couldn’t help but think about this on my way to work this morning while a strange man was very much standing in my personal space. He chose to face me which is ten times more awkward. I’d much prefer a back, or even a shoulder in my face. Had I chose, I could have leaned in and kissed this guy–that’s how close he we were.
I am a rational woman and, therefore, did not. I kept my head pointing to my left to stare at nothing in particular, and he kept his head pointed to his left to do the same, thereby acknowledging neither each other nor our close proximity.
Had I been more extroverted, I would have smiled at him and introduced myself. I would then have said something like, “If we’re going to be this close I might as well say hello,” but a hundred times more witty so that he would have no choice but to fall instantly in love with me. [This is Teri, the hopeless romantic.]
Of course, the bliss would only last a few months and then end inexplicably, leaving me detached and despondent and him with no life purpose because after me, really, what else is there? [This is Teri, the cynic.]
But more than likely he would have thought, “Why is this weird woman talking to me? Look lady, I just want to get to work…” and the situation would have leapt from merely awkward to downright painful once I had finished with my introduction and my attempt at piquant humor had turned out to be not so much. [This is Teri.]
There is a tiny part of me that is really curious as to what might have happened had I just kissed him afterall. The guy would have been surprised as hell. You have to admit, it would be pretty funny. As a woman, my chances of getting away with it are infinitely higher than if a man were to do the same thing. Does this seem like a double-standard to anyone besides me?
You know, I think I’m going to turn this whole thing into a story.