Like most superheroes, I have an archenemy. This person is the foil of all that is good in the universe. I hate him so much that I wish we could have a comic book style fight complete with onomatopoetic effects.
Every morning, I have to take three subways to get to work. Not fun, but extremely efficient. The last of the three is always packed. In order to fit on this car, you have to be willing to really let other people’s arm fat touch yours and you have to be willing to take your bags off your shoulders and hold them so others can fit on the car as well.
Four out of five mornings, just as I’m about to get on the car, this nine year old in red sweatpants darts in front of me and takes up two bodies worth of space with his GD black backpack with yellow and blue piping. So, very often, I am left standing on the subway platform glaring at him through closing doors, or smushed between his giant bag and the subway door behind me.
We get out at the same stop, where he always manages to thread through the crowd ahead of everyone, while I struggle through muttering under my breath about “That kid.” He is the bane of my existence.
Today we were stuck on the car next to each other, so close we were practically holding hands. Considering that I’m often shooting him death rays from my eyes, this was a little awkward. And, as I realized how small he is, I started to feel guilty. This poor kid has to ride the subway all alone. He wears red sweatpants every day, which, if I’m remembering elementary school correctly, does not make anyone more popular. This kid has a sweet face and maybe no one ever taught him not to butt in front of people or to take off his mammoth backpack as he travels on a crowded car.
Then the doors opened and he totally cut me off leaving me stuck behind twenty people getting off at the same horrible 53rd and Lex stop. I’d let my guard down for a second and the kid had seen straight through me. Next time, I’d have to be more vigilant.
*When I was little, my parents were very concerned that I would feel handicapped or freakish because I had asthma. They were really careful not to baby me or let me stay home all the time. One day, my mom brought home a box of coping mechanisms that I assume she got from a doctor. Inside was an animated movie about kids with asthma, some sort of asthmatic stuffed animal and this comic book:
**~SPOILERS~** His inhalator saves the day!