Blurgh! Is the only way I can describe my feelings the moment a woman sat on my shoulder.
Commuting – yuk – Monday morning commute – yuk – Monday morning commute with a short train – yuk. Still, mustn’t grumble as somehow I was lucky enough to get a seat. This was an aisle seat, and it was possibly the last one to be picked because the man at the window had spread his legs halfway across the spare seat…
The next station along I didn’t so much see the woman as much as I heard her arrive with a trail of apologies, each apology followed instantly by someone flinching and looking back to see what was happening. What was happening was a woman had gotten on the train and was determined to get further into the carriage so preceded every pushing someone out of the way with a ‘sorry’.
This woman made it as far as the second row of seats. Just where I had previously thought myself lucky to have got a seat.
I have noticed that some people mistakenly think the space between two rows backing onto each other is enough for them to lean their whole body against. This is not true, it is not wide enough unless you’re a miniature sized doll. This woman today was the size of a few miniature dolls. She struggled to get into this space but somehow thought it would be big enough for her to lean heavily against one side of it. My side.
Because the train moved at the point of her trying to rest against the seat back it meant that what she actually managed to do was to sit squarely onto my shoulder. So squarely that she firmly planted one buttock cheek on each side of my shoulder. So basically my shoulder disappeared momentarily in-between her buttock cheeks. She repeated her mantra of ‘sorry’ and quickly removed herself from my body. I still feel violated!
My joy with this woman didn’t end there. Two stops before the terminus the open-legged man in the window seat got off so I moved in and pressed myself against the window in some vain attempt to convince myself I was outside and not inside. The woman whose backside I now knew too intimately, with the continuous bumping as the train jostled along, fell very clumsily onto the seat next to me, where I had just been sitting.
She wasn’t leaning against me heavily, but why was she touching me at all? Why couldn’t she have left a millimetre of space so that our bodies didn’t have continuous contact? She emanated a lot of heat and on a hot day this was not fun, and I started to feel I couldn’t breath.
The man directly opposite me coughed 3 or 4 times without covering his mouth.
We finally arrived and I thought I’d wait for the majority of people to get off. I was after all in no rush to get to work. So soon there was only about 10 people left in the carriage, including me and the woman . Her head remained resolutely facing forward but with her right hand she waved me out. She looked like a clapping seal, with just the one hand. She chuckled slightly with which I think was supposed to be words, but I couldn’t swear to that as she just chuckled and waved her one hand. I wasn’t waiting for her permission to move! Just not sure what she thought she was doing or what she thought I was doing.
I’m already planning on getting an earlier train tomorrow morning.