Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Clinging to the pole like a stripper with stage fright

So, Nomes, (who's linked off Yaser's blog if you're curious), writes about subway encounters and he commented that people on the subway don't make eye contact or smile or talk to each other. Way back when in first year, when I started commuting (1 hour each way), I was smiley, made eye contact, even offered the occasional comment. The result? Every dirty old brown guy tried to make a move on me. Also, all the subway wierdos seemed to make a bee-line for me. Like the crazy lady who started screaming at me that "people are starving in India not Africa" and called me a racist. Umm, for one thing I was discussing Iraq, and another thing, it was a private conversation. The crazy woman just wouldn't stop screaming at me. Then there was the old hippy guy who thought that I'd be interested in hearing about his sitar lessons, (I wasn't).

Not that I've never had perfectly nice encounters. There was this one woman who wanted directions and she ended up sitting next to me; she was going to a choir recital and was sad because her husband of 45 years had passed away. Also, there are the little kids. Sometimes I'll play peek-a-boo but they get cranky if I get bored and stop. So, yeah, now I usually try and have a book on the train, it's just easier that way but even if I don't, I find people don't bother me anymore. My sister says it's because I tend to look like I'm spoiling for a fight and clutch my text book like I'm planning to bludgeon someone with it. I figure whatever keeps creeps from rubbing up against me is a-okay but I feel a little sad that I've lost that openness now.


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