This short little tale was inspired when talking to someone at a party about bad experiences on public transit. For the most part, my experiences have been fairly fine. Commuting to graduate school (for a whole month) was fairly seamless. My really bad experiences seem to stem from when I was a teenager and a.) Completely unaware of how the real world worked and b.) Way too scared to stick up for myself.
One time my friend and I were coming home from some get together and took the Sky Train. A young man suddenly hurtled himself and his bike into the sky train as several other men ran behind him screaming and uttering threats. He narrowly managed to get in the sky train, the doors closed behind him and the men were trapped, screaming on the other side: “WE’RE COMING FOR YOU AT THE NEXT STOP!” and banging on the glass. This was one of my first forays into public transit.
The story that I will share with you today however takes place on a bus, which somehow is worse to me than the Sky Train because people are just about ten times more miserable. My friend (who was very transit savvy) had suggested shopping downtown. Being the naive teen that I was, this was a unique experience – I never shopped outside my small town. This was County Mouse heading to the Big City as far as I was concerned.
A few stops in however, there was a bang at the side of the bus. A short, fat, middle aged man was banging on the doors demanding to be let in. He boarded and I do not remember him paying a fare.
He stank to high heaven of two smells that make me gag 1.) old alcohol and 2.) Putrid B.O. He was sweaty, greasy and wobbling back and forth on his feet. His rambunctious actions already had me uncomfortable around him. As a teenager I was mortified by anything that drew unnecessary attention that I wasn’t prepared for.
Suddenly I felt his bleary eyes on us. If he’d been quiet or steadier on his feet, I never would have noticed or glanced at him. As it was, I had and like a stinky moth to an unwilling flame, I had been caught in the crosshairs and I was suddenly a target.
I remember my stomach dropping. I think we were fourteen at the time, so the creep factor on this whole exchange was pretty high. Like, off the charts. We didn’t say anything back to him. My friend and I continued our conversation as normal trying not to engage this bizarre man.
The bus lurched on its route and every time it gave a sputtering stop, the Drunk Man would stumble closer and closer to us. I tried to use the hand bar as some sort of makeshift shield which would have worked if I were the width of a pole. Spoiler: I am not.
Closer and closer this stinky guy got.
Suddenly and without warning the bus lurched and the man, seizing this opportunity suddenly leaned forward and with dramatic flair LICKED MY HAND.
Yes, the hand that was wrapped around the disgusting dirty pole. HE LICKED IT. Like, not a quick lap. He fully got his ENTIRE TONGUE around my hand. WTF IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!
I remember the moment of horror. The shrill realization that my rights had been violated. But I was so afraid to talk to people. I was afraid of causing trouble. I remember my eyes welled up with tears and I rushed off the bus to the nearest bathroom, scrubbing my hand over and over while my friend acted like it was no big deal. She’d seen worse.
I like to think that these horrible experiences over the years have truly shaped me into the person that I am today. Now when someone steps out, I am first to tell them (Firmly but politely). I have more self confidence, I know that I am valuable and I KNOW that no one has to right to touch me without my permission.
So to all you shy girls (and guys) out there that think they can’t say anything because they don’t want to cause trouble or rock the boat- YOUR BODY, YOUR RULES. That’s just that way it is. If someone is creeping you out, if someone is touching you or talking to you and you don’t like it, say something. Be safe, but stand true to yourself. You are a valuable, amazing person; remember that.
Trust me, if you do that – the odds of you being licked on a bus are far less.
10 thoughts on “Why I hate public Transit”
This is hilarious! I had a similar experience recently in Los Angeles~ it’ll be going up soon. I can’t believe you were licked! I would have freaked out. No question.
I’ve added you to my follow list since I love collecting blogs to read and enjoy while I’m at work. I’ve attached mine, in case you do the same.
I’m still working on promoting my humor versus sarcasm, hence why I’m so attracted to your humor! Love the art too- it cracks me up!
IT WAS THE GROSSEST! I still cannot believe it happened! Thank you, Teal Fox! I will definitely take a look at your blog!
Love your blog design.And this was a veeeeery funny story.sorry about what you had to go through.I’m definitely adding you to my reading list,
If you like grt stories, check this blog out.
Hahah thanks! I will check it out!
Your blog is toooo funny! I stumbled across it a couple weeks back and although I’m having exams right now I already finished reading almost the entire blog from when you started! Please keep writing! It definitely brightens up people’s days! 🙂
And you’re drawings are the best. It’s definitely Odd but very very funny and nice. 😉
Thank you so much Aleena! I will definitely keep writing and drawing my odd but nice characters. My husband calls them “pickle people” because he says I draw the bodies like pickles. (He is not wrong.)
I would have literally passed out! i don’t even feel comfortable breathing in public places. THE NERVE OF HIM!
RIGHT?! HOW GROSS IS THAT?!?!??!