The number one unspoken rule of the MTA system is never make eye contact. Unless someone near you has passed gas, emits extreme body odor, or is a Hasidic Jew next to you about to fall asleep on your shoulder. In these cases eye contact becomes essential in letting the other passengers know you play no part in this public display of acceptable self unawareness, but are a classy law-abiding citizen that occasionally touches the handrail.
My usual commute is a short 45 minutes on the F train, from Bergen Street to Bryant Park. Typical New Yorkers would likely transfer to a faster (cleaner) train midway through. I always start out thinking I will exercise this method as well, but somehow always end up with just not enough energy to cross the platform.
My novel readership is few and far between, and unless I have a New York Magazine crossword to not finish, I am left strategizing how to get a seat before the sweaty man next to me who will likely not close his legs, making it extremely uncomfortable for even the smallest leggy model to sit next to him. That or diagraming passengers’ reading material, outfits, and ultimately their lives as they ride the underground Petrie dish of the city.
And so babies, this blog was born. To serve as a live journal of my daily commute, and an excellent measure in avoiding eye contact.