Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Subway Today

The Subway Today:

3 p.m. All the kids getting out of school.
The subway platform is jammed with screaming, unbalanced, unsettled, overly-loud teenagers.
I board a car with the desperate urge to sit.
Not only am I tired from lack of sleep, but also I want to be out of the way of the loose-cannon kids.
A man, mid-thirties, light-skinned Black, is sitting, legs spread on a seat by the end pole.
A second man, mid-thirties, Indonesian or Indian, with long straight black hair to his shoulders, sits a seat away.
Both hold the Business section of the New York Times in their fists.
Between their massive shoulders and spread, tree-trunk thighs, is a tiny space that is called an empty seat.
I am tiny.
I weigh 100 lbs.
I fit.
But not completely.
I am not made-up. I am wearing Cargo pants, hair awry, glasses and no make-up.
This is Public Transportation.
I have a right to the seat.
I excuse myself and squish myself in between.
Neither moves a leg inward to make room for me.
Neither moves an arm to give me space.
Neither moves a shoulder forward or back to make us all more comfortable.

The train moves and with the movement comes the shifting side-to-side of bodies, just enough for me to settle to my back to the back of the seat making me the Oreo Cream in this sandwich.
I am silently outraged.
My thoughts smash to the extremes.
What if I was pregnant?
No. I don’t look pregnant, but I could be. Women up to four or five months don’t necessarily show.
What if I was in the throws of a bad Period, dying of cramps and hemorrhaging out of my Tampon onto a Napkin I have discreetly tucked into my panties?
Men go through none of these things.
Is it so much to ask to move a thigh in and inch?
To move a shoulder over a few centimeters?
I know why they don’t.
‘I don’t have to move.’
But why that choice?
Why, if you are faced with a simple choice, as we all are day-to-day, moment-by-moment, why choose Power instead of Kindness?
This, at first, is what’s torturing my mind, as I am a squashed piece of lunchmeat in this man sandwich.
Do they think, when they are on their deathbeds, and they look back at their lives, they will say,
‘I did good in the World. I let no one take advantage of me. I kept my Power.’
Rather, I tend to think, when we are in our deathbeds (not to be too morbid but come on!) we are vulnerable finally and we’ll look back and think, ‘Was I a kind person? Did I do my best to be the best I could be to others? Even when I was tired? Even when I needed, wanted, to sit—even when I was needing to be Lazy, even then, did I do and was I more than I thought I could be?"
And then it happened.
The bizarre thing that always happens to me.
The thing that seems to be a built-in part of my temperament.
You know those ‘hour-glasses’ made of two spheres filled with sand? When you tip it over, the sand runs down counting the time passing?
That’s what happens to me.
Suddenly, the ‘hour-glass’ is turned over and I begin to feel the situation upside-down.
I look at my legs—tiny and sweet.
I look at their legs—strong, masculine, and firm.
I feel their shoulders immobile against mine.
And Ymmm.
I am held tightly between these two incredibly strong bodies.
Fantasizes blossom.
I imagine the man to the left of me, naked.
I imagine the man to the right of me, naked.
I feel the push of their thighs against mine.
I feel the push of their shoulders and biceps against mine.
I picture the three of us naked, making love.
Thunderous Thighs.
Bulging Arms.
Thick necks.
Masculine desire and stupid stubbornness.
And oh god.
My body relaxes into the squeeze they have stubbornly put me into based on their own stubborn sense of needing to win.
The next stop is a harsh one throwing us all to the left.
I have my iPod in my ears and have closed my eyes listening to the music with my ears and feeling the tingle of my present fantasy.
My head, by the force of the stop, falls on the shoulder of the man to my left.
In a split second decision, I decide to leave it there.
Like a girlfriend taking a catnap on her boyfriend’s shoulder.
What can he do? What can he say?
He’s the one who hasn’t budged.
He’s the one who has forced another person into an intimate physical position with a stranger by his refusal to give any space.
I feel him looking at me.
I feel him shrug his shoulder as if to shirk me off.
But I don’t move.
I am happy.
I have a plan.
I have relaxed into the situation.
They refuse to give a woman space to sit.
They force her to diminish herself and be ashamed to request a place of comfort on a long train ride.
After all, I have a right to the seat.
And if they choose to be body-to-body with me without giving an inch,
Then I choose to enjoy it.
And take advantage of the intimacy they seemingly unknowingly, but stubbornly forced upon me.
I leave my head on the shoulder of the man to my right.
Through his skin, his energy, I can feel his confusion.
I am happy even more.
I like it this way.
He started it.
And now I am going to finish it.
My stop is upcoming.
I stand, wiggling out from in between the young, rude, New York Times Business Boys.
As I move forward to exit the train, I lean forward enough (as I do when I am with Clients) for them to see not only the outline of my ass, but the part of my tiny waist left nude as my shirt rides high with the position I’m in.
I exit the train but instead of heading directly to the exit, I turn to watch through the windows.
There I see both men, eyes wide, starring out at me, then back at each other, then back at me.
Before the train speeds away, I look at them both through the Plexi-glass, firing them a wicked, knowing smile.
I know.
I know,
They will be plagued, at least for the rest of the day, with wicked, un-resolvable fantasies.
Revenge. But unharmful and utterly delicious.


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