Only in NY does one have to suffer the specific awkwardness of riding on the Q with a middle-aged man in a fedora lying on the ground, kissing the floor with loud, wet smacking noises, and yelling “I’ll get you, I’ll get you!” And then watch him pee out the side of a moving car. My stop was up, so I didn’t get to see the finale.
So, I was rising the subway home tonight, standing—as is my wont—when a subtitle in the book being read by the man sitting next to me caught my eye. It read: “So You’re the Sensual Fetishist.” Obviously, I couldn’t look away, so I read the rest of the paragraph along with him and copied it verbatim. I love iPhones!
“So You’re the Sensual Fetishist:
Maybe dominance, submission and sensation play isn’t your thing. You love the sensual and erotic arousal of your lover’s feet or footwear. I think that’s great!”
I’m not kidding. I suppose the affirmation is meant to keep kinksters feeling positive, but really; I haven’t read something so hokey since junior high health class. It went on to suggest ways to incorporate the “sensual fetish” into the dear reader’s life—for example, shoe-shopping as foreplay!
Now, I’m all for understanding one’s sexuality. But two things: 1) I don’t think there is a foot fetishist alive who needs to be told that shoe shopping with his girlfriend will turn him on, and 2) there is a time and place for sexual self-discovery, and the subway, dear reader, is neither!
I hope you got your keys. You probably won’t be mollified by this, but your major crisis alchemized into a mini-connection for those of us on the 6 train. I’m not sure if you are the girl with the headphones who was sitting on the other side of the keys from me, but that girl should have turned down her music anyway. Now, I’m all for the iPod commute, but we were screaming at you as you got off and that nice man jumped off at that stop instead of his own; not quite sure why he left the keys with me, but his intentions may have overcome his rational thought.
Don’t worry, though, I took control of those keys immediately. I’m not the most charitable person ever, I am, however, an untrusting control-freak, and would rather deal with your lost keys myself than let the other passengers. The Eastern European man across from me was very annoyed with you anyway, and I don’t think he would have taken the trouble to do anything about it, and although the Puerto Rican woman next to me seemed nice and sweet, she was headed somewhere and I (wonder of wonders) had a free hour to spare in the middle of the day. I thought about mailing them to Duane Reade, like the card says, but that would probably take forever.
I know how stressful lost keys can be; you have the same bare essentials as me: one for the outer gate, one for the mailbox, one for the door, a Duane Reade card and a NYPL card. Add one more key and the chain could have been mine. You seem more organized, though (I definitely haven’t written my name on my card). Since I was already on the 6 I figured the library was the most trustworthy place—you might not get them that day, but you’d know where they were immediately, instead of receiving them in the mail from Duane Reade three weeks from now. I hope I made the right choice—the security guard at the information desk to whom I entrusted your keys seemed on top of things. I hope you can get into your apartment, and that you have lovely people around you if you don’t.
I think I’ve unwittingly become one of those super-obnoxious New Yorkers. When leaving the Harvard archives today the receptionist asked if I would be needing my materials again tomorrow.
“Oh, no.” I replied. “I wish, but I can’t. I’m heading back to the city tonight.”
The city? THE city? Like I was talking to someone in Queens or something? No wonder they hate us…