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Barren Illusion
"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched." - Henry David Thoreau
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I'm not a bloody jukebox
viernes, 2 de marzo, 2007
I only caught the tail end of some guy's act in a subway car, because the track noise was too loud and his slight frame produced a voice too soft. When the train slowed, I finally heard him and through the arms of standing people, managed to see him swallow one of those long balloons -- the kind you make balloon animals or an elaborate 19th-century carousel out of. And then that was it. I heard mild applause, but I wasn't sure if it were the spectators or the performer himself. He began to head to the ends of the car to collect money, which only amounted to a dollar (one guy gave a one-dollar bill). Would you want to support a man whose potential, apparently, is to be a drug mule? Also, when he came in from the next car, he scratched his butt crack as he passed my seat. I didn't want to support that, either. Strangely enough, when he was done he just sat down, started a conversation with the person next to him, and ate a sandwich while drinking a Capri Sun.

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Like a jar of pickle brine festering in the malevolent sun
lunes, 8 de diciembre, 2008
Good lord, the three stinkiest people in New York City and I met them all. Today. In the subway. So, so smelly. You'd think the cold would disguise the rankness, though I suppose it actually preserves it.(?)

Edit: Actually, it was more like hot seafood garbage rotting inside a crusty hobo ass crack.

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Really gross
domingo, 8 de marzo, 2009
As of late I keep noticing dudes lovingly stroking the poles on the subway as if it were their own phallus. It makes me throw up in my mouth a little, not because of what it seems to imply but because it takes me back to a story a high school teacher once told my class:
A homeless man boarded the subway with a rank and odor so pungent he befouled the entire car immediately. He readied his money-collecting device. His conduct was unlike that of the other panhandlers; instead of God blessing everyone and placidly soliciting his request, he made a threatening announcement that if he didn't get any money, he would reach down his pants and touch all the poles.

Although there's no need to start having phobias about the whole thing, it doesn't hurt to have a little prudence. People who are sick get on on the subway all the time. Some people who have no etiquette cough and sneeze with abandon like they are marking their territory. Children with their sticky little fingers touch everything. I'm pretty sure I've caught some colds riding mass transit.

If it's a short ride I hold onto the pole with my wrist or use my knuckles. If it's a longer ride I only use my left hand, never my right. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there. Like eyelash mites.

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