The subway is a magical place. It’s a decrepit, vast underground tunnel where humans from all walks of life unite. The rich, the poor; the black, the white; the Christians, the Jews, and everyone in between has somewhere to be. A home to some, a last-minute option for others, the New York City subway system is saturated with various “showtimes”, Michael Jackson impersonators, mariachi bands, and an overall diverse mix of folk. Much like a box of chocolates, with the New York subway, you really never know what you’re going to get.
This particular Monday en route home from work, it wasn’t a performer that caught my eye. These particular straphangers were in love, which is great I guess, unless you’re so in love (and/or drunk (on a Monday?)) that you must showcase this emotion publicly, without regard to proximity of strangers or personal space bubbles. In that case, it is simply the worst.
These kids felt it necessary to showcase their affection while being a mere eight inches away from a total stranger’s face — said stranger obviously being me. I must say, I apparently attract socially oblivious humans on the metro, because this wasn’t my first time experiencing something of this nature. About a year or so back, some dude fell asleep on my shoulder on a local, not-even-busy train to Washington Heights. And just a few mornings ago, a couple sitting directly beside me kissed 67 times between the 86th St. stop on the 6 train to 51st St. THAT’S FOUR STOPS for anyone who counts. I was thinking at that time perhaps one was leaving for the army (or dying?) but they both got off at the same stop – so I feel like they had more time together than they let on. That’s a whole other tangent.
So the close-to-my-face couple was very literally in my face. Every time the guy leaned in for a kiss, I considered just going for it, because my face was the exact same proximity to his as his lady friend. She was also significantly shorter than him (and me), so he was swooping at an angle, which would have made it ridiculously easy for me to get in there. I know that making out with a rando on the MTA is the stuff of dreams, but I was obviously thinking about it for comedic purposes. Which then got me thinking about a social experiment I jokingly (?) want to test out. Just how close can you get to train strangers while doing socially inappropriate things before you get told off? Depends on people’s tolerance, I guess. I’m pretty passive aggressive [read: I let a man who may or may not have had a brick and mortar home use my shoulder as a pillow], but a swift fake sneeze in the face diffused my problem quite nicely. After all, there’s a special place in hell for people who display public PDA.