I hopped on a downtown R train in NYC. Well, I was actually on an M train that switched tracks and became an R train and then went out of service.  So technically I hopped on my second R train but, intentionally.  The whole car reeked of pooh.  Not like someone left a package but more like someone had sprayed the car with an aerosol can called “rankness.”

Some people jumped into the adjacent cars.  A surprising number of people stayed in that car.  Well, probably not surprising given the average New Yorkers smell threshold.  Of the people who stayed: some covered their noses, others slept, some seemed impervious to the whole thing.  One lady looked around for acknowledgement she needed someone to agree with her that this smell was present.  She held out a hand and looked around as if to say “It’s not just me right?!  It stinks in here right?!” Maybe she used to smell things that weren’t there as a child and can never again fully trust her olfactory system.  Note to self: Write outline for a movie called, “A Beautiful Nose.”

The woman found agreement in a couple standing near her.  The woman was clearly in pain.  The man was smiling ear to ear as he said, “I have a cold so I can’t smell anything.”  I thought to myself, “where’s your compassion buddy?”  Then I realized if he wasn’t smelling then he wasn’t breathing through his nose and if he wasn’t breathing through his nose then he was breathing through his mouth.  Call that instant Karma.  Whatever ills wafted through the air were going straight into his lungs unfiltered.  Let’s just hope that smell doesn’t affix itself to your tongue.

I only had to go one stop so I powered through. I just hope that smell doesn’t stay in my clothes.  Like the way cigarette smoke stays in your hair well after you’ve left a smoke filled room.  Or when you leave a soul food restaurant smelling of hammocks.  And your friends remind you that soul food restaurants have doggie bags and you didn’t have to smuggle gizzards out in your jacket pocket.  And then you vow to not sit close to the kitchen again even if it means sitting by the door and going into pre-hypothermia every time it opens.


Maybe I should go to a soul food restaurant to cancel out the subway train smell.


Hot Chocolate Any One?


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