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You remember me, right? We made eye contact on the G train two months ago. I was wearing my somewhat-ironic Dare shirt, and you were wearing something that wasn't a Dare shirt, but still somewhat ironic. I think the appropriate word is "Kitsch." No bells ringing? It was a packed train, just like this one, and you were standing directly in front of me. If memory serves me right you were on page 154 of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, roughly three sentences down (based on your pointer finger), and when you got off at Myrtle-Willoughby you were on 161. You may have noticed me reading Jitterbug Perfume. Oh, you didn't. Well you surely must've noticed when our eyes met at Hoyt-Schermerhorn. The doors closed, but then opened for an unruly amount of time, and we shared that look that said, "Man, will these doors ever close!" and then you smiled at me and looked down, and I kept smiling for what seemed like forever until you looked back, and then I looked down.

  

Oh, um, well that's okay. And listen, I know you're probably thinking this conversation is all a product of our patriarchal, misogynistic society, and this is just a form of the male gaze, and I'm probably viewing you as this unattainable object that can cure all my fears, anxieties, and insecurities, or something of that ilk. Wait, that is what you're thinking? And my self-awareness of the situation isn't charming, but extremely creepy and self-indulgent? Wow, well I don't necessarily agree with you! Side note, I didn't expect all these people to be listening in on this, especially that older woman in the business suit vehemently shaking her head in disagreement. We get it; you don't need to take sides here! And you, hip thirty-year-old in Converse, I get that you're "Over this;" I'm trying to have a moment with my (possible, but hopefully!) soulmate.

  

But back to the point: We had such a connection! Like when we were approaching 7th Ave, and I pulled out a bag of Doritos, and you could tell how self-conscious I was to eat them on the train. You picked up on that, right? And I could feel your sympathy and empathy when you understood that my fear of not only eating in front of people, but also eating in general, extends to how my mother used to monitor and openly critique my eating habits as a child. How even though there were four children she singled me out and would remark, "Slow down," or, "You've had enough." In that moment, near prime Park Slope, I couldn't believe that you were able to commiserate this experience with me. Oh, you were thinking about an economics paper you had due? I didn't realize you wanted to be an economist. You don't. You want to be a teacher. An economics teacher, I take it haha. Biology? That's cool.

 

To be honest, I 'm surprised you're still standing here. No, I know it's a packed train and we're literally squeezed next to each other, but still there's something about fate actually squeezing us upon one another. I'm sorry about the incessant sweating too. It's something I've carried with me my entire life. It's somewhat of a main characteristic amongst my friends; "He always sweats. Don't mind him!" Of course I've tried prescribed deodorant, but thanks for the suggestion, really. I'm impervious to all forms of expertly hygienic mandated deodorants. In ninth grade my sweat stains were so dramatic that a teacher genuinely asked if it was raining outside. How we laughed (the other students, not me). Do I seem like a sadsack as the kids say? I do? That's pretty candid.

  

This train is taking forever! Classic G, am I right? I haven't cried in a long time. And I've always believed that crying is good for anyone. When you cry you open yourself to extreme emotions, often negative; and then when that whole thing is done you're vulnerable and free, and then all of those happy emotions can pour in and create a reason to keep chugging along. Like this train, which is stopped between my stop and your stop. Yeah, I didn't get off at my stop. I wanted to ride this conversation out.

  

Just listen for a second. I'm lonely. That's clear. And we have ridden this train together a number of times, and sure that's creepy that I know that, and I'm perpetuating an unreal reality that you can't possibly fulfill, not with the expectations I put on myself and subsequently on you. It's just, I feel a lot, and I want to share those feelings with someone, and want someone to share their feelings with me. To exist completely and wholly together. To wave our hands through the silhouetted sunrise. To just get coffee or something. What do you say?

   

No, no, no, don't worry about it. Totally understandable. Oh wow! I didn't even see the ring! What a careless mistake. Enjoy the weekend!

 

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