When I worked in the city I took the bus. Most days I didn’t mind it, but around this time of year, people were coughing and hacking all over me. Kleenex was hanging out of purses and threatening to touch my arm. I tried to make my body as narrow as possible so nothing touched me, but let’s face it, you can't escape germs when you're riding a germ tube to work.
Once, I sat next to a woman with dirty fingernails. I swear little insects were crawling out from under her nails and onto my book. They were "pretend nails" and apparently baked too long because the french part of the manicure was yellow. It seemed to me that she was scraping cheddar cheese with her nails before work and didn’t bother to wash her hands. I have to wonder if it stinks underneath the fake "topper" nail.
There was one man on the bus that coughed into a handkerchief. I’m so confused about the handkerchief phenomenon. I want to know how many handkerchiefs he owns and how often he washes them. I don't understand the concept. Shouldn't expelled mucous be disposed of immediately? And aren’t 'kerchief users just jamming their faces back into all the germs when they use it over and over and over and over again? At some point, I have to figure they’re reversing the progress and shoving bacteria back into their noses.
Some are handkerchiefs are monogrammed which kills me. No one is going to steal it. Trust me. How does that even happen? Does the crazy aunt give them out for bad Christmas gifts? I can't imagine opening a Christmas present to reveal a square of fabric with "KSN" on it. I'd be like, "What the fuck is this, do I roll it and smoke it?" I can't imagine.
But since I'm a radical optimist, I have to admit there was good stuff too about public transportation. It was thirty minutes of being just me, without owing anyone anything other than the seat next to me. I wasn't a wife, mother, daughter, sister or employee. I was free to read a book, listen to music or just appreciate the changing leaves from my little window.
Handkerchiefs and fake nails aside, the germ tube actually has the opportunity to be a peaceful break from the day. Set the blackberry aside and just be free for a little slice of time.