One of the only good things about the G train is that it has one of the lowest annoying tourist populations in comparison to other subway lines (at least in June). One of the bad things about the G train is that it is packed with overly tired and stressed out New Yorkers who will push past a 5 year old on the way to school just to get a coveted seat. We New Yorkers really are kind people at heart; just don’t mess with us during morning rush hour, especially not after we’ve been waiting for the notoriously unreliable G train.
As I settle into my spot holding a pole toward the middle of the car I find myself next to a normal enough looking guy in jeans and a T-shirt who pulls out the latest New Yorker. Then he yawns…his halitosis is so bad I gag. Then I catch a whiff of his under arm odor. Seriously?!? If you can afford a New Yorker subscription (Or did you just steal that out of your neighbor’s mailbox?) you can certainly afford a toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant.
A few stops later a large, squat Caribbean woman wielding a prayer book settles in on my other side. She looks unassuming enough until she opens her mouth to say, “excuse me,” to someone she bumped with her bag. The overpowering smell of garlic coming from her mouth could only be accomplished by gnawing on a whole, raw head of garlic prior to boarding the train. It’s only 8:30am. How is that smell possible at any hour, let alone now?
Just when I think it can’t get any worse, a very large man pushes through the crowd of people to sit in the seat attached to the pole I am holding and pulls out a bag of Doritos. The smell of Doritos makes me want to vomit. I cannot explain it, but the extreme need to throw up upon smelling Doritos is what I like to believe is a trait of evolutionary superiority. Seriously, those things are toxic – no one should be eating them. I unintentionally give him a look, because at this pint my olfactory system has been pushed to the limit. Now I am the skinny, white woman silently judging the overweight minority for his poor diet choices. Great.
As the train starts to pull into the last stop I begin to sigh out of relief. Sure, there will be a mob of people to shuffle through as I climb the steps and walk to my connecting train, but at least I am free from the chamber of torturous scents. Oh right, I forgot, summer internship season has begun. There is a large number of young men and women dressed in their finest suits, which they will soon discover in this city of extreme wealth and poverty, while perfectly acceptable in their Midwestern towns are paltry when toe to toe with the custom-made suits and shoes their supervisors will be donning. I appreciate their bright-eyed and bushy-tailed energy, so lacking from everyone else on the train, but I wish they would look up from their phones as they attempt to exit the train. And I really wish that when they do look up and realize they have no idea what direction to keep walking in they would step aside instead of stopping dead in their tracks at the top of the stairs like deer in headlights.
Alas, it is Monday.