I did a terrible un-feminist thing on the subway today and I felt super-bad about it, but then a 20 year old flirted with me so I felt better.
I was leaning against the door at the far end of the car, reading a book. The two rows of seats on either side of me were filled with a very excited group of youths on a field trip. They were discussing how it was two hours earlier back home and everyone was just now getting to school, and how you don’t REALLY have any REAL homework when you’re a freshman, Josh! And anyway then all the sudden a flash went off and I glanced up and realized that a grown-up halfway down the aisle had just taken a photo of this group of teenagers and – me. They all noticed me noticing this and we shared an awkward little giggle about it. And I said, wryly: “Make sure I look skinny in that if you’re gonna put that up online anywhere.”
And then I felt bad, because I had totally just told a 14 year old girl that being skinny was the first thing I thought of when sharing brief sparks of human interaction with youngsters in the big city.
AND THEN! LATER! So the train was super-super crowded (this was actually a different trip; the youths were long gone, off developing eating disorders and what not) and it kept getting more and more crowded, and there was this GORGEOUS person standing next to me – just one of those STRIKINGLY beautiful people – and I wasn’t sure if it was a chick or a dude for a long time and then I realized he was a dude and I was totally in love with him and he probably knew I was staring.
But so at some point he says to me: “I thought of something funny, and I want to tell somebody, but it’s kind of offensive.”
“I want to hear it!”
“Will you be offended?”
“Maybe! Let’s find out!”
“Well I don’t want to offend you, though.”
“Well we’ll never know if we don’t try.”
(Oh my god you guys and he was so gorgeous and he was like nineteen years old and his hair was very long and he had a very prominent collarbone and very tan skin.)
“Okay. So the thing I thought was: ‘I haven’t been touched this much by so many strangers since the third grade.’”
(And then we chatted about some other things I don’t remember because he had this really good dark thick eyebrows and kind of this good hard wide healthy face, you know, and his irises were as black as his pupils.)
And then he says: “Does it always get this crowded?”
“Yes!” I say. (Because he was smiling with only one side of his mouth and I would have said yes to anything he had asked me.) “Are you not from here?”
“I’ve been here almost two weeks,” he said.
“Where are you from?”
AND THEN…AND THEN IT WAS MY STOP!!!!!
“Oh…I have to go!”
“Wait, what book are you reading?”
I held it up for him, and he sounded out the title kind of slowly with his MOUTH, because oh my god he knew exactly what he was doing I know he did.
Then he said: “Let me take a picture of it.”
I held it up beside my face so that he would have to get me in there, too.
And then I left.
It was the best/saddest train ride ever. I should have stayed on, right? I should have followed that nineteen year old home. Or, I guess, more likely: let him follow me home, drink some wine coolers that I buy for him, give me herpes, and steal my laptop and a sandwich when he sneaks out at 3am.
Also, that book is…I can’t decide. I’ve chuckled a few times. But the main character sure is a fucking asshole. Anyway, I fixed the title at least: