a sense of urg(un)cy

Thankfully, I’ve avoided any life-altering diseases, surgeries, infections and wardrobe malfunctions. When I was a wee one though, I was inflicted with, but not limited to: jaundice (a flattering yellowish tint), chicken pox (twice), pink eye (tri-yearly for about four years) and random unidentified bodily rashes.

So when the doctor told me – more so my mother – I had a UTI, my nine-year-old self was obviously unfazed and unconcerned. There were meds to quickly diffuse the issue. The root of the cause was because I “didn’t want to miss a damn thing.” I wanted to be in the thick of the action – who could blame me? So peeing hurt a little more than usual; a small price to pay.

Fast forward 14 years – cue: Reality Check – I can now successfully manage my restroom to anti-action-missing ratio; a self-taught accomplishment but an issue many struggle with to this day.

These days, leaving work usually means walking home well after dark and subway rides with New York’s finest pieces of work, all while keeping my tote bag tight under my arm to be used as my D-Lineman blocking drill tool. Stepping off the escalator, I cut the corner tight to find my usual waiting spot, knowing I’m right where the subway doors will open, when a small Hispanic man whizzes by me and clips my right shoulder. Contact was made since my bag is always perched on my left shoulder.

An adoptee of the hands-in-the-air-“Hey Asshole” move, I turn on my heels to initiate arm-flailing and instead come face to face with the same small man: junk out, taking a whiz and just looking. All at me. Guy: at least aim toward the tracks, the mice, the “Please Stay Behind the Yellow Line” line, WHATEVER.

For a small fellow, he had some serious arc, though.

Leering and slightly concerned my feet would surely receive residual spray, I merely asked, “Why, though?” Focused on me and without a word, he finished, shook, zipped and skipped up the escalator.

I almost wish he slithered off the platform and dramatically ran into the oncoming subway track’s dark abyss.

Let me teach you the ways of the ratio, little man.

comm(un) commute

A girl likes to feel petite, no matter what her size. Sometimes, you feel your petite-est in a mans arms. Other times when you’re holding a cupcake on steroids (a la Crumbs). I’m not going anywhere important with this stream of consciousness, I just felt it important to share my current state of being – I’m looking for the kind of comfort 300 calories can offer rather than muscle. Mostly because the calories won’t talk back.

Judge me when I refill my self-serve frozen yogurt cup at no charge – people know me – you’d do it too, I just have no shame.

No shame – it’s a way of life I’m becoming acquainted to in this Big ole’ Apple. Unplanned wardrobe malfunctions (always wear cute underwear, just not granny panties; no one likes a VPL), perspiring quandaries (reaffirming why I should never own grey), and relinquishing all self restraint to lip sync when my favorite song comes on and turn it up so loud the entire subway car can feel beats they’ll never quite appreciate.

You don’t want to admit it but you’ve developed a daily routine. There are 845 ways to get to the subway, but you wind up using the same route because it gets you from A to B without obstacles. Or maybe because you’ve developed a crush with the barista at your coffee pit stop. You scope out the numero uno square inch to wait for the subway because when the car pulls up, you’re just to the left of the door, allowing passengers to exit and you’re the first one on.

Allow your subway ride to be the variable in your life of constants. Sometimes I feel like a lioness in a jungle full of fresh meat, luring young thirty-somethings in with my best Babmi stare. Other times I wonder if the suited-up men getting on at the Penn Station and Grand Central stops are enjoying the arial view of my cleavage because they’re “squished in”. Mhmm…..Sir, I know this train is packed, but this is not the pole of love – please find another square inch to grope. Oh, and ma’am? Don’t give me those dagger eyes. You think I’m vacating my seat because you’re “high priority”. I’ve got boobs, too. Not moving.

Public Transportation System

photo credit: funny-pictures-blog.com

(un)conscious decisions

Public transportation isn’t for everyone. Confined spaces, brushing rear ends with strangers and the accidental (totally on purpose) boob graze; what’s NOT to love?  When I tell my mom I’ve booked a trip somewhere outside the 2 mile radius of my domicile, she’s all, “how’re you gonna get to the airport? Then once you’re there, how’re you gonna get to…wait, where are you staying?” By now I’m used to this Q & A. During my time abroad, I learned to rely heavily on public transportation because cab drivers can AND WILL rip you off. Nope, your attempt at a French accent is NOT sexy (endearing at most), it will NOT get you French (any) boys and you’ll look even dumber when they speak fluent English.

There are two responses I give my mom to said questions. The first, which really grinds her gears, is “Eh, it’s whatever. I’ll figure it out.” Nothing quite like a vague, uncertain response when it comes to your child’s travel and overall safety. The second, much more common response goes something like this, “Well, I’m taking the T there then once I land, theres a $5 shuttle bus that leaves on the half hour, which will take me to the train station where I have 7 minutes to buy a ticket, and run from terminal A to D to catch the outbound train. Once I catch that, it’s like 55 minutes to the subway where I only have to change twice before I get to my friends place. He said he’d be home but if he’s not I’ll just go get some coffee or something.”

“SARAH, just take a cab. I’ll pay for it.”

Standard Jewish mother response.

Public transportation is more entertaining anyway. You’re not forced into conversation with some crazy from Ghana who is 150% sure he could run the country better than “that black guy” currently in office. Nine times out of 10, he’s not talking to me but to his mother-in-laws sister on his headset circa 1995. I always respond.

On this weeks episode of “Sarah Takes the T”, I was on the Blue line, the most direct route to the airport. I walk on to see a single available seat in front of me so I beelined for that son of a bitch. Unfortunately, I failed to take note why no one sat there. Looking as far to the left as I can without moving my head, I see the lifeless body of a man dressed head to toe camo and Timberland boots. #Thatawkwardmoment when everyone sees it, but chooses not to acknowledge the situation but is pissing themselves at my obvious misfortune. Another homeless man waltzes on at the next stop and tries to rouse him so he can sit down, too, but to no avail. He shakes him, lifts his limp, lifeless arm and now people are growing concerned this man is dead but still, people won’t do anything because god forbid  we give up our seat or dirty our hands.

Mind you, I still haven’t moved, am holding my breath so as not to inhale the combo of body odor and week old Jameson and am still sitting next to a potentially dead human being. One stop before the airport, the MBTA police gets on, grabs the man and goes “Bob, you can’t keep doin’ this, man. Where you goin’ this time?” Bob looks at me and goes, “Sweetheahhht, where we goin’?”

Bob and I, we bonded. His semi-toothless grin and piercing breath will forever remain in my nostrils, no matter how hard I scrub.

So mom, have fun picturing THAT scenario every time I travel from now on.