It's hot, I'll give you that. And I'm not saying that I'm a Lotus Flower at the end of the day. But my ride home yesterday on the R5 was one of the most stomach-turning rides of my life.
The guy standing behind me smelled like a corpse. It wasn't a homeless guy, but this guy was the stinkiest human being alive who wasn't a homeless guy I've ever been near. And wouldn't you know it, the 7:15 train was packed.
It was hotter than a bastard last night on the platform. That, added to the fact that the train was seven minutes late made it so that everyone was anxious and nearly pushing (R5 pushing, mind you, which is more like cutting in line than real pushing). So, I was happy to find a seat on the "two side" toward the middle of the car. Ah, blessed air conditioning.
The seats were filling fast, but it seemed like all was going to work out. But for some damn reason, the conductor decided to close a back car, which made a surge of overheated humanity flow in my direction. The seats filled. The aisles filled. And then the air filled with a rancid stench. It was the arrival of Stinky Man.
Stinky Man stood right behind me. I didn't see him so much as "sense" him. I threw up in my mouth (well, nearly). I coughed. People around me gagged. Stinky Man was Pigpen incarnate.
I thought, "Hey, this isn't going to be bad. It'll go away. Maybe it's not the guy behind me." I was fooling myself.
I tried breathing through my mouth. I just got larger gulps of Stinky Man. I tried holding my breath, only to realize that I had a 30-minute ride and I can hold my breath for about a total of 30 seconds. I came up short. More and more Stinky Man.
Every time Stinky Man moved, his B.O. wafted my way. It was thick.
Then I went with optimism. "Christ, this guy's gotta be getting off soon." Nope. Stinky Man was sticking with it.
Finally, the train emptied out enough for me to move and Stinky Man to get a seat of his own. Oh, blessed fresh air! And, I finally got a look at Stinky Man.
I can tell you what I was expecting, mostly thinking it had to be a nutbag at minimum. Instead, Stinky Man was some frigging grad student, who knew enough to be studying on the train, but not enough to take a fucking shower. Educated idiot, that's what my dad used to call them.
I swear, I was sitting there thinking, what's the protocol? Should I have said, "Take a shower, you hippie freak" or should I sit there and do nothing? I was worn out with olfactory overload, pleased to be breathing fresh air enough that I let Stinky Man have a pass. But just one.
I'm going to CVS today. And I'm going to buy one of those bottles of Axe Body Spray
. If Stinky Man comes anywhere near me again, I'm going to blast him with the full force of chemical nature. Hey, Stinky Man, this isn't 18th Century France. We take showers here. And if we don't, we sure don't want to sit near Frankie. Otherwise, fear the Axe Man.Photo credit.