“Do you ever speak to someone on the subway?” I asked. Without much thought my friend simply replied, “I tend to never make that mistake.”
The irony city dwellers face every day festers in their mode of public transportation. Whether it be bus, train, starship, or hovercraft, everyone around you, although clearly in pubic, is lodged into their own little world. In NYC, the locals apply a thick layer of stoic aloofness before swiping their metro card and starting their day. It’s understandable why folks want to appear distant and keep to themselves when around strangers in such a populous area but sometimes I can’t help but try to break down this inexorable barrier.
While riding the subway to work one morning, an attractive girl sat next to me and placed her purse on her lap. Although I was reading a book and in my own little world myself, something about that morning made me feel optimistic and social. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that attached to the outside of this person’s purse via a piece of string was an unlabeled bottle of purell. A little odd but interesting that someone would need purell within reach at all times like that. I gestured to the purell bottle and said, “Always within reach just in case, right?” I instantly regretted opening my mouth. She glared at me with a look of contempt. “Those,” she replied, pausing to point at the bottle, “are my bubbles.” Naturally, I became doubly curious and wanted to know why one would need bubbles within reach at all times. However, her feelings of disgust towards me pacified this curiosity in a bizarre backwards manner.
It sometimes pays to just keep your thoughts to yourself. Damn this innate sense of curiosity.
-Single Guy in NYC