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New York Minute

Most Tuesday nights, I play basketball for a few hours in a tiny, dank gymnasium on the West Side. When I hop on the uptown train to head home, I’m a sweaty mess. I try to stand as far away from the other passengers as possible, but those 30 minutes are hellishly uncomfortable.

Heaven forbid that I need a seat. Some nights, the game gets rough and I’m too sore to stand the whole way. It’s usually empty enough to find a seat, but rarely is that seat out of smelling distance from the others on the train.

It’s particularly upsetting when I’ve calculated my stench radius, chosen a “safe” location, only to watch a new rider get on the train and head for a seat right next to me.

First a hint of disturbance crosses her face. Then her nose crinkles as she sniffs more deeply for confirmation. Her eyes search for the source. As suspicion gives way to recognition, I know she knows. She gathers her stuff and finds a new seat. If she’s kind, she doesn’t look back.

Of course, worrying about it so much just intensifies the sweatiness. The only thing worse than being on a stinky train is being the stink.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  New York Minute

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 1, 2011 11:05 am

Yo, this is a classic story, man. Made my morning!

2 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 1, 2011 11:13 am

[1] Next time I'll share the "late curry lunch" conundrum...

3 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 1, 2011 11:15 am

3) Well, I'm just happy you made me think of Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing pick up hoops.

4 ms october   ~  Feb 1, 2011 11:54 am

this is great.
i play in a basketball league too - fortunately in the winter the gym is not hot so i haven't been too sweaty lately, but when it is hot and i sweat more i know i ain't smelling like roses, and perhaps it is even worse for a woman to not smell good on the train.

5 Raf   ~  Feb 1, 2011 1:27 pm

Baseball season, I was hot, sweaty and covered in dirt/grass (depending on where I played). All the while lugging my equipment around :)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver