Saturday, January 16, 2010

So I'm on the train

sittin' down and minding my own business when a mom, her sister(?), and young son in a stroller, come and sit next to me. I didn't get up because there was plenty of room for them on the train. And I figure "OK, I'll just sit here and read this book." Because, you know, you don't want to be that guy on the train sitting next to a little boy in a stroller and being all paying creepy attention to the kid, right?

So the kid is drinking one of those pink Nestle Quicks which he's managing to get all over himself and down his jacket and onto his own pants and on the floor, narrowly missing my shoes. OK, that's fine. I'm reading. But then he gets all squirmy while the mom is talking to her sister (or whatever) and is trying to move around and in order to do so puts his hand on my knee.

He thinks "Hey, I'll put my hand on this guy's knee. That's what people do. That's what I want to do right now. I'm somewhere around two years old. That's what I'm going to do."

OK, great. I'm soooo not being the creepy guy on the subway and now your son is inappropriately putting his hand on ME! And not just for a moment, no not for the "Oh, I just tried to lift myself up by bracing myself against the 44-year-old dude on the subway who's reading his dorky science-fiction book and probably still lives with his parents just moved out of his parent's house less than a year ago and now I'm going to realize that it's a STRANGE MAN I have my hands on."


Instead, it's all "I've decided that the best place for my hand to be right now is not the stainless steel pole, not my own stroller, not my mom (who is, technically, behind me) but on the big white dude who needs a haircut (and probably, a job) and I'm just going to keep my hand on his knee for three or four stops. I LIKE the F train!"

So, while I'm being harassed on the subway by this 18-month-old I'm trying to read my book and forget about the automatic announcements they make these days "A crowded subway is no excuse for unlawful sexual conduct" and somehow I just know that I'm going to be blamed for this even though all I'm doing is reading this book. Heck, I don't even like boys -- I like girls, generally 30, maybe 40, years older than this kid -- who is, at this point, feeling my knee up like a banker feels up a showgirl underneath his regular table at the Russian Tea Room.

OK, so he's actually just trying to lift himself up out of his stroller. Finally, the child wrests himself into a standing position on the floor. I am intently staring at my book. And, of course, the train lurches and the kid, who probably wasn't too steady on his feet to begin with because he's only freakin' two years old, goes falling forward and the guy sitting in the seat across from me catches him.

"Thank you" the mom says to the guy who caught the kid.

The mom, the "sister" or whatever, and the kid get off at the next stop.

And I'm left there on the train all used up like a dirty rag.