Have A Seat

Have A Seat

she struggled

snuggled

into the subway seat

next to me

gave me an irritated glance

 

my knees were tight together

my shoulder bag on my lap

my elbows pressed to my waist

my ebook open and balanced

on top of my shoulder bag

taking up as little space as I could

 

‘do you mind’ she muttered

I pulled my feet closer

‘I said do you mind!’ she was angry

I chose to ignore her

I couldn’t take up less space

she elbowed me sharply

knocking the ebook askew

 

it wasn’t my fault

the seats were so small

that there no way I could take up less space

 

‘what an asshole’ she said loudly

‘keep your hands off me’

 

someone looked down at us

I shrugged

my hands were clearly

clutching my ebook & my shoulder bag

in place

 

more people got on

the now over-crowded car

the a/c wasn’t working

it was hot stinky

I had ten more stops to go

and she was muttering

‘fucking asshole men

think they can get away

with pawing women

when ever they want’

 

I didn’t need this aggravation

put my ebook into my shoulder bag

pulled myself out of the seat

and indicated it as empty

to a woman much bigger than me

then watched the face

of the angry woman

as she was squeezed even tighter

and

for some strange reason

it felt good

when the large lady said

‘move a little. do you mind’

I prefer to walk an hour to get anywhere rather than take public transit. When I do take the subway I always have my earbuds in & my Kindle to protect me. If I could I’d wear gloves too. Usually, if there’s space, I’ll stand – sometimes I sit just to get out of the way. I never quite get it when other passengers feel it’s their right to blame you for crowding them when someone is crowding you too.

This piece is a composite of various personal or witnessed experiences of mine in transit, on the subway, bus or streetcar. I’ve heard people muttering things like ‘asshole men’ or ‘fucking bitch’ because there wasn’t room for them to look at their cellphones.

I’ve sat on empty three seat rows that quickly filled within stops & have been crushed into the corner while the chrusher acted as if I wasn’t there or as if it was my fault for not ceding the entire seat to them. In winter it’s impossible to make a parka take up less space.

Most people try to maintain some decorum in transit but others are quite eager to take advantage of the captive audience to call attention to their discomfort. I have seen men take quick advantage of the proximity & felt helpless to do anything or even know what to do. Stop everyone rushing to get up stairs?

I have been told to take up less space. I have, as in this piece moved to distance myself from a muttering seat mate. Engaging is never a solution – I don’t know who has a knife. I have done exactly what happens here. Given my spot to someone else to deal with the mutterer. I didn’t feel victimized just grateful.I have more important things to worry about than sitting in transit – like,  where’s my hand sanitizer 🙂

coming soon:

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

 

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