Subway Surprise

In Prose on April 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

It’s already crowded in the subway car when the doors open up, at the next stop, and the push of people waiting on the platform nudge their way into previously unacknowledged slivers of empty space. In the practiced blindness of uncomfortably close strangers, I take a careful lack of notice of the person pressed up against my side.

But then, as the osmosis of inrush keeps stealing away ever smaller slivers of room to breath, this person -this stranger- pressed against me slides into the space between my pole-grasping arms and leans herself back against my chest, the top of her head resting right beneath my chin.

I don’t understand… This isn’t in the city-slicker manifesto of how to ignore your fellow fish when squished inside the sardine can of crowds. She should be giving me a hard shoulder, a perpendicular denial of presence. Not this parallel back-to-back intimacy, where I can’t help but breath in the smell of her long brown hair -inches from my nostrils- no matter how much I control my nervous respiration; where I can’t help but become aroused by the lean of her hips back into my body.

I don’t understand. Is she playing with me? I don’t know. so I pretend to be a wall placed there upright and functional to support her lack of handhold in the cramped confines of the crowded subway car.

But as the stops roll by and the press thins out and the slivers open up enough to afford a breath of personal comfort, well… she’s still there, intoxicatingly close like lovers. I could move away, now, but I’m enjoying it too much, and I’m starting to wonder where this might lead.

But then, as the train darts through the dark of a tunnel, the windows become temporary mirrors, and our eyes meet in the reflection, and I see that the woman with the long brown hair, the woman nestled in between my arms, pressed up against my groin and exciting me with possibility, has the face of a man.


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