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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gratuitously Rotten Smelly Homeless Man

This morning I hopped into the brisk air on the subway platform and was met with a train pretty quick, only to rip open my fresh hot egg sandwich and enter a car on the train that just happened to be filled with the stench of Gratuitously Rotten Smelly Homeless Man. There was no one in this car. The looks on my face as well as the few others who had filtered on with me told me I wasn't the only one to smell it. At the far end of the car lay the rotten thing...with all his belongings. Was he dead? How long had his carcass been allowed to ride on this train? Why hadn't anyone cleaned him out of there at the last stop (being that it is the end of the line, where they clean the cars!)? I saw him stir, so the smell couldn't be explained by death. We all looked at eachother in horror, our noses scrunched up as we tried to inhale as little as possible. A few people passed through to the next car. I looked in, but realized that-at this hour of the morning, were I to move, I would lose my seat...which is a coveted position during the morning rush hour...even moreso when you are about to stand outside for the next 10 hours working a promotion. So I stayed there...still eating my egg sandwich...because, well...I had to eat. As others filtered in, no one sat from half way through the car towards him. Many switched cars the first chance they got. I remained. Every once in while, as my nose started to get used to the smell...I feared the idea that I could ever get used to something so awful...would I smell like that all day? Just as I would worry about getting used to it, another wiff would waft all the way down to my end. What the hell could cause that? Was he covered in open sores and lying in his own soiled pants? How long would he be permitted to stay there? I have no doubt his smell would linger LONG after he had been shood out...and some innocent new rider would sit right where his poopy/bloody/corpse-like body had layed all day. I don't know if I was being insensitive to the plight of this unfortunate soul...whose aroma stayed with me and taunted me throughout the day. Was it really nearby, or was it just that strong that my mind couldn't help but have flashbacks? I don't know...there are a lot of homeless people here that sleep on subways...and they don't all smell like that.