What Sex Does with its Time Off…
Being recently released into the world, I realize that I need to budget in order to afford the new york lifestyle, even if that lifestyle involves a crowded apartment with slightly-off-squash-colored walls and nine flights of unavoidable stars. Factored into the finances is a trip to Costco ever few months for a jumbo pack of toilet paper. I purchase the twenty-four pack and walk it twelve blocks on Broadway back to the subway. I understand cars more as obstacles than vehicles in this costly city. I take the N train towards Astoria-Ditmars with the purchase hugged between my knees. And people are staring. Why doesn’t Costco make Costco-sized grocery bags? I’m embarrassed that other people can see how much I go to the bathroom. I’m embarrassed that I like Charmin Ultra-Soft and their cute cuddly bear trademark! I’m embarrassed until I spot a girl at the other end of the train car balancing two boxes of Costco packed Trojans.
I’ve seen many Metro poles danced upon. After high-schoolers are dismissed at the three o’clock bell they make their way to the 7 train at Queensboro Plaza. The girls with black Jordans, faded skinny jeans, risqué spaghetti straps have the train held by their classmates when they hear “Stand clear of the closing doors!” They giggle as they sneak past the sliding doors. And the group stamp their feet and clap along with their chortles as the first ninth grader takes hold of the pole and swings herself around it. With a whistle another takes the tall cold cylinder in her hand and wraps her leg tightly around it. She throws her head back. Boys don’t quite play the same. Between the hours of one and four am I’ve seen them swing by the poles on the ceiling. I’ve seen the drunkards use them to compare their machismo. Holding themselves up on them horizontally or propelling themselves across the car. And even in broad daylight of the morning, there is the occasional couple, stealing a pole all to themselves despite the need of stability by other passengers. He wears a trench coat and she a bright pink dress with a black sheer to match her thick eyeliner and ebony slicked nail polish. They hug one another with the pole between them. His lips kiss her lips, and the pole brushes its chilly lips against both their cheeks. They’re not going anywhere.
(as much as society will allow without being arrested)
I’m standing at the JMZ station just at the end of Puerto Rico Street. Pacing up and down the platform on a September afternoon. Two Hispanic kids come up the stairs on the opposite platform, both with jelled black hair. One is spikey the other is curly with perfectly straightened bangs. They both wear backpacks without books, but he takes hers off and places it at her feet. So that when he wraps his arms around her and pulls her in, he can feel her hamstrings against his quadriceps, her back against his chest, her butt cheeks against his hips. She pulls out her midday snack, McNuggets and starts plucking the up and feeding, hardly admitting interest to the boy. She pops one of the fried birdies into his mouth and he puts his hands on her hips and grinds himself against her in excitement. She does not react, as if this is norm. As if to hump is the mating call and snacking on fast food is how to play hard to get. She continues feeding on nugget after nugget and he pops himself against her backside, thrusting futilely until the train pulls in.