October 16, 2004

it's hard to be humble...

You know, when I first started keeping a blog, I thought my forte would be mining my misadventures as a half-closeted lesbo. I thought my dealings with my clueless Irish-Scottish parents plus my issues of insecurity, depression, Catholic guilt and a general distrust of the populace would be equally fertile ground for my blogging career. Little did I realize that my feet, or more accurately, the reaction that men on public transportation have to them, would be a recurring theme in this here venue.

Yes, folks, there was another subway incident involving my lower appendages. What's really creepy is that it happened again on the same train in the same location as last time. As God as my witness, I will never ride the R train again!

I was on my way home from work the other day, fully engrossed in my copy of the Daily News. As I was reading about the brilliant postseason performance of one Bernie Williams, I could feel someone hovering near me. I looked up and a rather deranged-looking man perched atop a red and silver Razor scooter was looking at me funny. I thought that perhaps my freakishly long legs were blocking his path so I quickly pulled them in, tucked them under the bench and resumed reading.

He didn't move. I looked up again to find his eyes cast downward examining my feet. I had a moment of "Not again!" but this time, my feet were protected by calf-length boots so I knew there was no danger of unwelcome suckage. Furthermore, I was in no mood. I was sporting a serious "Fuck off! Your nuts are not safe!" puss on my face so I thought for sure he'd take heed and keep scooting.

And then he spoke. It was rather unintelligible but from what I could glean, he was interested in my boots. He kept pointing at them and saying, "Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!" At the risk of sounding callous, I thought he was deaf because well, he sounded like it. I had no idea what he could possibly want with my boots so I thought about it a minute and then said, "Shine? No, no shine." He shook his head impatiently, sat down and pointed emphatically at them once again. I gave the feet a quick once-over to make sure I wasn't trailing toilet paper or trekking dog shit around. I saw that there was nothing out of the ordinary so I gave him a snotty, "I don't know what you're talking about!" and back to the sports page I went.

That's when he reached down and pulled up his pant leg revealing his hairy calf. He then pointed at my pant leg trying to get me to do the same. He wanted to see some skin. This dude didn't want to buff my boots... he wanted to knock them, if you will. I declined his invitation and he persisted. He'd stab his finger at my leg and I'd say, "What the hell are you going on about?" Back and forth we went with the pointing and refusing until I finally tuned him out.

I'm usually quite skilled at ignoring crazy people but my eyes kept darting to the side because I just didn't trust this guy. I reread the same sentence in my paper over and over again. Sure enough, moments later he got agitated, lifted the scooter up over his head and shook it rather menacingly. Thoughts of reconstructive surgery and physical therapy sessions flashed through my head. I was certain I'd be kissing metal before long.

But then -- and here's where it gets weird -- he lowered the scooter, leaned over to me, pumped his bent arm in a "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" gesture and asked quite innocently, "Sing along?" He went from pervert to preschooler in the span of two minutes. The train pulled into the station and I scurried off praying that I wouldn't be followed. Luckily, he remained in his seat and asked the guy across from him to join him in song. I'm not sure if he obliged.

I used to think the curly hair and dimples were my most prominent physical assets but in recent months, the feet have made a strong showing. In fact, I might have to change my name...

Tootsie McSniffmyfoot