This morning, as Rachel and I were walking to the train, we heard the AMNY lady shouting about the day’s headlines:
AM! AM! READ ABOUT THE HOMELESS!
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.