I got stunk up

This morning, as Rachel and I were walking to the train, we heard the AMNY lady shouting about the day’s headlines:


Not exactly the best way to sell a paper (yes I know it’s free, but that’s an expression so back off!).

I said as much to Rachel and she just shrugged her shoulders.

“Meh, they aren’t a problem.”

Not a problem?!  How are they not a problem?  When they stink and panhandle and creep me out and lay face down on the sidewalks with no pants (I really saw that) and take up whole benches on the train during rush hour and–

She clarified.  Not a problem for her.

Well, that’s fair I suppose.  I was content to let it go after that.

Then we got to 42nd street and Rachel got off the train.  And in her place came one of the most offensive homeless people I’ve ever encountered.  He stumbled on the train, his pants, well, I can’t even describe them because I’d prefer to keep a readership–let’s just say that the open fly was the least of his worries.

He was stumbling and swinging his arms at purse level.  I thought for a minute that he might be pickpocketing people.   You know, gross them out with his stink while he reaches into their purses and pulls out their wallets.

People began scrambling away from him.  The poor women who he chose to stop in front of couldn’t get up fast enough.  Then he took a seat.  Sort of.  He kind of crawled on to the bench, causing the woman to my right to move basically onto my lap.  I let her.  And trust me, that is the ONLY time that that is ever OK behavior.  I couldn’t take the stink anymore so I got up and moved to the end of the car.  Everyone around me followed suit.

The next thing we knew this guy was sprawled out on the bench.  No easier way to clear a subway car I suppose.

At 28th street I was happy to breathe in the fresh air when the doors opened.  Yeah, you read that right.  I just called stanky subway station air “fresh.”  Does that paint a picture yet?

I was so happy to rush out of the car at 23rd and I took huge breaths the entire walk to work.

But, as I sit here, I’ve noticed something upsetting.

I got stunk up!

I’ve sniffed my hair, my coat, my hoodie–everything.  And I can’t figure out where it’s coming from.  But I can still smell the stink of that dude.  It’s been burned into my nostrils.

And that, dear readers, is a problem.

But look on the bright side, I’ve saved you all the trouble of picking up an AMNY to read about it.


17 thoughts on “I got stunk up

  1. As weird as it may sound, not having the ability to experience things like this on a daily basis (due to our lack of subways) is the one thing I hate about living in the South.

  2. It’s the Subway-syndrome, and when I say Subway, I mean the restaurant.

    Have you ever actually eaten inside one? Because after you do, EVERYONE will know what you had for lunch that day ’cause you’ll absolutely wreak of cold cuts, olives and italian dressing. For real.

  3. this just happened to me last week. my bf and i were on an N train headed from queens into the city. it wasn’t a full car, meaning that everyone had a seat, when all of a sudden, a scraggly, caveman looking black guy walked through the doors of one end of the car. everyone glanced over and then resumed what they were doing. until he passed us. it hit like a shockwave. the stench was so overwhelming, i had to stick my nose in j’s neck to suffocate myself with his cologne otherwise i would have been sick. people started gagging as soon as he stepped through the door at the other end of the car.

    when j and i finally got off the train, we agreed that he smelled like death. like a rotting corpse. covered in blood and urine that might have been weeks, if not months, old. it was so bad, we decided to walk around for a while before going into any place in case we smelled like him.

    so i know what you mean when you say underground subway air is fresh. because it so is after something like that. it’s like daisies and lilacs in a lush mountain valley.

  4. once again, one of the perks of non-real-city living. we have an absurd amount of homeless here but if you don’t get out of your car in the downtown area you don’t have to be near them

  5. It’s like when you go to an awesome mexican restaurant. It’s delicious, but the stink gets in all the fabrics you are wearing and just continues to emanate from them.

  6. You missed an opportunity for an excellent Seinfeld reference. Think “The Smelly Car.” Sadly, this is how my mind works — find a real life situation, and think of the applicable Seinfeld episode.

  7. For the most part i would think many people find the homeless scary. I try and hold the mindset that it is their behaviour which is scary, because it is not ‘normal’ to us. I would think the majority of homeless people have a mental illness which prohibits them to function resulting in them behaving in an unaccepted manner.

    Homeless people are people at the end of the day.

  8. Oh geez.
    I have a problem with bad smells imprinting themselves in my nostrils too.
    I’m always the one saying “Can anyone smell BO? I can totally smell it. Is it me?! Is it? Do I smell?”

  9. TOPolk: Ah, to live in the suburbs and miss things like this…

    Matt: Hm…yeah, I’m noticing a trend here….

    MinD: Hahaha yes–no matter which Subway you go into, you can’t shake the stink!

    lucklys: Oh woooow! That’s awful!

    apollo: I’m taking them to a field to burn them. Then driving the long way back in case the stink follows me. And I’m doing it all in a rental car.

    NSJ: I so miss my car right now!

    rs27: No, but maybe we should consider that a business idea. Joint copyright and split the profits? There’s gotta be a market for that somewhere.

    grungegeek: At least then I’m whiffing guac and cheese instead of death and bodily fluids!

    Paula: Haha thanks!

    Philly: I do the same thing w/Friends.

    Jules: Ouch!

    katelin: So so gross.

    Arjewtino: That’s both amazing and awful. I mean, it totally sucks that it happened but what a great story to get to tell.

    callardyce: Way to take a turn for the serious Coll–anyway, I’m with you on that but there are plenty of resources to help them out and if they choose not to make use of them then I’m going to choose to post about it.

    Kez: Nothing worse than a stink you can’t shake–even if it’s only in your own nose!

    lacochran: Nicely done.

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