The Other Morning On The Train
I stepped into an empty train car. Well, it wasn’t completely empty for there were two weary passengers with their heads slunk down, deep in sleep in their respective seats. “Not bad” was my first thought. I get to ride to work, unassuming, and not be bothered by others and their funny smelling breath and easy restlessness. That is, until the smell hit. So I looked harder. And it got stronger, and it stung. My eyes pierced through, glaring at the passengers because that smell warranted a second look, at every damn body. All two of them motherfuckers. My nose doesn’t miss a thing. By then my nose and eyes were burning from the putrid smell of urine permeating the entire train car. I performed a full sweep of the train car, not necessarily wanting to move onto the next one because I really dislike walking between two cars when the train is moving, and I didn’t feel like bolting from the car I was in into the next one at the next stop. My own bit of train etiquette; not wanting to knock anyone over stopped me from doing just that at the next stop. But, UGH, the smell! Not even nauseating, more like burning acrid flesh, and just plain foul. The only pleasant thing about urine is when it’s streaming out of you, you know? But, yeah, I did what I didn’t feel like doing initially. I moved over to the next car, through the mid section of the train, opening the emergency exit doors, which is what this was to me. A damn emergency. I had no choice but to breathe and every breath was pissing me off, no pun intended. No wait, pun intended! Ha. I finally got away from the smell, which was still haunting me somehow because I can smell traces of it. Urine. The scent that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend. And so I preceded to move as far away from the previous El train as I could configure my body, and finally plopped down into a seat away from people. There was a man sitting opposite me, but on the other side, so I didn’t have to concern myself with any familiar, yet odd smells. I pulled out my Ipod and connected the earphones. Yeah, baby. I was ready to sit back, relax, and chill on my ride to work. I was getting content. The music set the mood and Jill Scott was setting in. Perfection ensued… for a little while at least. Until all of the sudden I see in front of me, a mass of brown leather slowly sliding down into the seat, becoming comfortable. A black cat, more like a blast from the past, Shaft’s brother from another mother or some shit like that. He sat down right in front of me. One of those soul brothers who thinks they’re fresh to death, with the old school gear, and the Kangol hats. He was like that.
That’s when the aroma hit. A new one, and I couldn’t even chuckle or laugh or do anything to feign my newfound discontent. My mind said “FUCK NO!!!” I was being slowly strangled by the overwhelming smell of cheap men’s cologne. What a messed up trade off. I sighed, then wondered what was in store for me on the ride home.