On Board #2

See here for an explanation of what’s going on below, where you’ll find entry No. 2 in our subway stories series.

August 5, 6:55 p.m.
B Train – 42nd Street to Broadway-Lafayette

Spilled frozen yogurt, vanilla, has turned one section of seating in this Brooklyn bound B into the underground equivalent of Chuck E. Cheese, a leper’s colony, and/or creamy peanut butter: to be avoided, at all costs. Two black plastic spoons and something vaguely resembling Corn Flakes provide some texture, but otherwise, it’s a mostly congealed pool of white liquid shaped vaguely like the island of Hispaniola.

Several brave souls enter the train at 34th Street and take seats around the pasteurized island, one woman fearlessly taking the seat next to it, a couple on seats facing the mess. The couple may not actually be a couple, but the guy is doing his chivalrous best: he takes the seat next to the mess, a gesture the girl immediately acknowledges as she looks on in disgust. But then, they talk only intermittently on the short ride.

On closer inspection of the remaining empty seat, the Corn Flakes look more like remnants of a flaky pie crust. Our heroine, seated just inches from the yogurt’s no longer expanding bubbles, has fiery red hair, which she waves like an air traffic controller’s baton in warning as others attempt to take the seat (only three try before she leaves at West 4th). Another woman takes her seat. She’s already dressed for the gym and a bit smelly (and presumably dirty) and does not lose sight of her iPhone while sitting down to watch a period movie involving corsets and white wigs. But she does hesitate after the fact, upon seeing the pie crust bits, arching her back to sneak a look at her bum, giving a furtive look, the one where you hope others have not seen you do something stupid (like, say, sitting in melted frozen yogurt). Thankfully, it appears, she is clean.

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