Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If One More Person Falls Asleep On My Shoulder, I'm Turning This Subway Car Right Back Around

At this point in my life, I'm fairly convinced that the universe is conspiring against me to place subway sleepers next to me, regardless of what train I'm on and when. Tonight is a case in point. I'm riding home from work and sure enough I start to see and feel the telltale signs of a subway sleeper. Out of my peripheral vision I see the head of the girl sitting next to me start to bob and loll back and forth. Her ponytail was swinging like a pendulum on a grandfather clock.

The thing with subway sleepers, you see, is that it all starts rather innocuously. A strap of their bag may slip off their shoulder and gently hit you. Their arm may accidentally brush yours. In summer months, this is entirely unacceptable. The feeling of a stranger's skin-and worse, their arm hairs-brushing against yours is rather disconcerting. Next thing you know, you're entirely focused on waiting for the offender to fall on you. It's like Chinese water torture (do any of us know, or even know anyone else who truly understands what it's like to undergo Chinese water torture?) You practically wish they would fall on you, only so that you can reinforce the belief that subway sleeper is a complete and total dick, undeserving of the privilege of a $2 ride on public transit.

I'm always torn as to how I want to deal with a subway sleeper. My reaction is directly proportional to my mood. If I feel as though I'd like to teach them a lesson, I usually consider placing my elbow just so and then suddenly jolting it up into their ribcage, all the while looking the other direction and feigning obliviousness. If I'm feeling rather mean, I like to learn forward in my seat and hope that when their head falls towards me, the sudden lack of another body next to them as support will cause their neck to suddenly snap, resulting in a temporary disability (not permanent! I'm not that cruel-minded).

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for falling asleep on moving transportation. I for one can be out within five minutes of boarding a plane, train or automobile. But it's all about sleep management. Keep your head down, centered over your body, and know your surroundings.

I'm just sayin'

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