fuck up my hairdo

There is no bonding quite like the bonding done on the New York City subway.  Stalled trains, waiting for lines that never come, the entertainers who amuse us, and the entertainers who don’t.  But, the ride home from Caitlin’s open house party (I’ll address the party itself later) was really something else.
When I boarded the train, a smell overcame me.  I’m not sure how to describe it other than a bunch of bad smells that died.  It was like urine died.  And poop died.  And vomit died.  And maybe one of the sleeping homeless people had died, too.  And all these dead smells were trapped in the train together making everyone’s skin crawl.  Anyone who boarded with me made disgusted faces, plugging their noses, pulling shirts over their faces.  No one could get off the train fast enough.  It was the first (and to this day only) time I used the passageway to move cars while the train was in motion.
The only people who stayed in the car were sleeping.  And maybe one of them was dead.  I’m just not sure.  All I know is that car was rank.  As I sat in the other car, it began to fill up with more and more people.  In fact, it was unusually crowded for it being 2 am.  I watched as people came through the door horrified about, “WHAT WAS THAT SMELL?!?”  Every person that passed through the transfer doors made a stab at pin-pointing the scent.  “It was like B.O. and feet mixed together.”
“It smells like… like doody!”
“Oh my god!  Something died in that train!”
And my personal favorite response came from a larger black woman who came bursting through the doors grabbing her locks.  “Ooooooooooohweeeeeeeee!  Fuck up my hairdo!”  The train all laughed together as everyone was well aware of the stench.  Just another NYC war story.
When I got home later, I smelled it a few more times.  So terrified it had gotten stuck on me, I jumped into the shower despite the big effort I had made to blow out my hair.  Probably this scent will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Just in the same way the smell from the Alcatraz outhouse haunts my roommate to this day.


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