Sprinted to catch the 7:52 after a long day at work. The train was jammed, and I eyed a two-seater occupied by a large man in the window seat. He gave me the look: Don’t do it. I did it, my side scraping along the armrest as I sat, before the hard rubber found a spot between my ribs.
Was he going to slide over and give me an inch or two? Was he too big to do so? Maybe so–his knees brushed against the seat in front of us, his wrists poked out of the fake wool trim at the end of his sleeves. I’m 6’ 2” and I barely fit in the seat. A bigger guy wouldn’t have much—any?–room to spare.
He didn’t budge. I tried to peer at his ticket, resting against a book with “Murder” in the title, to see how long we’d be sharing for. Couldn’t get a clear look.
As we pulled out of 125th he called his wife.
“White Plains is the next stop,” he said. My hopes picked up. He was getting off in 20 minutes.
“Then North White Plains,” he added. Four extra minutes.
He told his wife to leave the door unlocked. He asked about his sons; I despised him less.
The conductor came around for tickets. I nearly had to molest the guy to get my wallet out of my back pocket.
Time passed. It always does. The man began his exit after
White Plains. He stood to his full length. 6’ 2”. Same as me.