This most recent Sunday I had a day ahead of me – a roving bachelorette party with four bars on the agenda, multiple sports games to be watched. However, before Sunday Funday could begin I had work that demanded my attention. As such, I sat dutifully at my coffee shop and clicked keys on my laptop until I satisfied my inner workaholic.
When the appointed hour arrived, I hopped on the metro for my trip to the insanely gentrified part of the inner city. The train was Sunday afternoon crowded, so I had a two seat bench to myself for most of my ride; and then I got to the Chinatown station.
With only two stops to go, the train was filled sufficiently that most people sat two abreast. My perch was an exception until a very large man eyed the position next to mine. In an attempt to appear unaffected, I kept my eyes on my newspaper. He waddled closer, reversed his position and shoe horned himself next to me.
Still attempting to show no affect, I made myself as small as I could; but his weight against me was oppressive. My breathing became difficult, shallow breaths were all his girth would allow.
I could have stood for the remaining two stops but in my overly polite mind that would have been rude. It would have sent a subtle message that I objected to his size and by extension, him too. It was really hard to breath.
I have no issues moving to a different seat or even a different car when some asshat has his/her iPod cranked to profane volumes. I have no problem relocating when there are rowdy teenagers whose jocularity I have no interest in hearing. For some reason, at that moment pinned against the window struggling for air, I couldn’t summon the will to move, though there wasn’t an open seat elsewhere.
Finally, the longest two stops of my life were traversed and I stood as soon as it wouldn’t have been obvious. I inhaled deep and often. The first opportunity for oxygen to hit my lungs felt great.
I harbor no ill will towards overweight people; hell , I generally refrain from using the term “fat” (with one glaring racist exception of which friends are aware and about whom I generally use words like fire hydrant, basketball with arms, and rhino.) This, however, was different.
I am indifferent about the prospect of large people paying for two seats on flights. The metro is different, I don’t give a flying fuck about how crowded it may be, nor do I concern myself with your difficulty in standing. You know if you occupy two seats and need to be more respectful of others. If you are going to restrict my ability to take in air, you, you fat fuck, need to stand because I need not choose between air and polite.