Sometimes I wish I had laser beam eyes, like in the comic books. The ability to lower my glasses and shoot white hot beams of energy out of my ocular cavities and incinerate whatever it is I happen to be looking at.
Because, lady on the New York subway train, I would have used my lightening peepers to zap those fingernail clippers you were using right across from me out of your hands. The fingernail clippers you were using to snip your filthy fingernails that you then allowed to fall to the ground.
Watching you prune those filthy Chiclets of keratin growing out of your digits and then allowing the brittle crescents of DNA to jump onto your lap, your shoe, and the subway floor was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. You littered with your body parts. Forget laser beam eyes, I would have settled for the power to instantly projectile vomit.
Anything to stop you from grooming in my presence because it was truly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in public. You ruined my morning. It's over now, but the memory still lingers.
I like to think I have a high tolerance for public grossness. I mean, I live in New York, a city where the sidewalks basically have a mucus membrane. I’ve seen a hobo give himself a saliva bath outside of my apartment. Once, at a doctor’s appointment, a squat woman sat next to me and slurped up slimy slices of bologna she was carrying around in a plastic bag in her pocket.
Another time, at a fancy cocktail party I had to attend for work, I saw a man in an expensive Italian suit vomit liver mousse into an ice bucket.
I never flinched. Not once. I am a steel-jacketed M&M. Hard. I have seen it all. Smelt it all. But this alleged human sitting on the train, her lap covered in skin Fritos, crossed some kind of personal line of decency with me. I mean a couple of weeks ago, I watched a dude eat fried chicken on the train and he ate it with a greasy open mouth so he basically was broadcasting a symphony of smacks, chomps and swallows. That was barely tolerable, but tolerable!
I think it’s totally fair and normal that this lady enraged me so. She looked snotty too, entitled, like one of those people who don’t work, but also camp outside the Apple Store in order to buy the new iUgh. She clipped her nails so blithely. I’m sorry, but she didn’t have the right to treat a public space like it was her boudoir. Her right to clip her nails ends within five feet of where my feet are, which is how far away I was from her… protein shavings.
At one point, she even bit a hangnail off with her teeth. I don’t know if you know this, but the New York subway literally throbs with the energy of trillions of microscopic bacteria. She put her finger in her mouth and tore out a hangnail with her teeth. And. Then. She. Chewed. On. It.
By the time she had finished clipping, and snipping and cleaning, her feet were surrounded by a halo of dead human cells. It looked like someone had taken a cheese grater to a horse hoof. Did she see me glaring? Gritting my teeth? Gagging on rage? Is it enough that we have to commute in a long steel box full of other people’s stinky molecules? How much time does clipping your nails on the train save?
How would you react if I stood above you and flossed after eating a pile of spinach? Would you be oblivious if I sat down next to you, took off my shoe, and massaged my bunion? I should have just picked my nose and catapulted boogers at her.
I wish I had laser beam eyes.
Yes, it’s a free country. But that doesn’t mean free to be gross right in front of me.
Phew. I feel better.
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