On the Train: Gaya Eats Here

It smells a little. All right, it smells a lot. Cold, day-old Chinese food has that quality about it at 7:30 in the morning. Add insult to injury and I have to eat it on the train. I can understand why that guy moved. He looked like he was going to gag. Truth be told, I want to gag. I don’t want to smell it either, but Fuck if I’m not hungry and why does it feel so slippery.

Let’s count the positives, shall we. I had clothes picked out for today, so that was easy. Anaya ate her breakfast and had her hair and teeth brushed before I dropped her off at the early morning care. I’ve eaten breakfast, such as it is. We both woke up late, so I’m a little better rested than usual.

And I caught the right train. Doing okay.

Shit. That’s it. I didn’t even put the good clothes on, just threw them in my gym bag and put on sweats. Wait…did I get to shower this morning? I feel moderately clean and I don’t smell bad. It’ll have to do.

Let’s do an assessment. Interview is at…9:30. It’s 8:10. Train arrives in 15 minutes.

Where is it? Financial District. Fuck Me! Do I even want to work in the Financial District? What a pain in the ass. Stupid question. I do. I think. Job seems good. They always seem amazing when you talk to the recruiter. Maybe I should bow out. No…No…you’re going, Gaya. You’re going. Show your daughter you can be more. You can be the mythical succesful single mother who makes it all look easy.

Okay. Okay. Have to get changed. Do something about this rat’s nest. I’ve got to stitch this day back together.

There’s got to be a bathroom somewhere on this train. Let me ask the conductor.

“Excuse me. Hi. Where’s the bathroom?”

“What do you mean there isn’t one. There’s always one. Oh…so there is one, just closed due to an equipment malfunction. But I can still use the room, right?”

“No. Why?”

“Okay. Thanks. Have a good day.”

Boy, I’d hate to be in that car, piss and shit sloshing around. Kind of have to go to the bathroom now. Is there an Equinox near Penn Station? Five blocks the wrong way. I’ll be late. Can’t be late. I’m pretty sure I want this job. Too bad, would have been a great use of the gym membership because I never work out.

Well, maybe. It’s a bit on the crazy side.

You can do this, Gaya. Hold on to the handle and pull. That’s it. Just go ahead and open the door between the engine and the first train car. The window is blacked out. No one will see your bra and granny panties. Just go slow. One slip, and you’re dead.

Left foot. Right foot. Pull your pants down. Oh, that’s cold. That’s really, really cold. Hold on to the bar and pull the pants up. Good. Right hand zip and button. Left hand hold tight.

Oh no, no, no, no, no. There go my sweats, under the train. No turning back. Pull the shirt off. And try to get it into the bag. Fast, but careful. I actually like this shirt. Comfortable. This is the tough part. How do you get a sweater on while you stand on a moving train. Without dying.

Arms first. Yeah. Arms first.

At this point, I seriously question my own judgement.

Keep going. Left arm’s in. Switch hands. Sloooowwwwllllyyy. Okay. Right arm’s in. Now just stick your head through and you’re done. You can go back inside. Comb the rats nest, put on lip gloss, eat an Altoid.

Okay, let’s do this. Should you tell this story during the interview? Maybe. No. Definitely not. Get the job first, then let them know you’re crazy.

I can’t see if anyone is in there waiting for me. I guess I’ll just have to open the door and hope for the best. Okay. Quickly, sit down. Everything is completely normal. You didn’t just go outside on a moving train and change your clothes.

That did not just happen. At least, no one will hear about it for 5 years. After that, the story becomes a funny anecdote, a footnote, if you will, to the overwhelmingly successful tenure at this new job.

Way to go, Gaya.


On the Train – Where I envision the inner lives of my fellow commuters, completely unbeknownst to them. Every now and then, they might catch me staring a bit longer than makes them comfortable, but I’m just coming up with their backstory (Although I admit that’s about the same amount of creepy).

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