There's a fine art to deciding who to sit next to on the Metro. The ideal situation is to sit in one seat of a free pair of seats, thus avoiding the problem entirely. But often, as was the case this a.m., no pair of seats will be totally open, and there begins the dilemma. If I choose not to choose & to stand instead, it will not go unnoticed -- when I watch people choose not to choose & to stand instead, I always wonder, "What's wrong with me that you don't want to sit next to me?" before, of course, relishing my space.
Anyways, the dilemma. For obvious reasons, I am wary of sitting next to the Sketchy-Looking Middle-Aged Man, the one who hasn't leered at me yet but can be guaranteed to re-situate after my arrival to ensure that his grey-haired arm brushes mine in the most inescapable of sitting positions.
I am equally hesitant to sit next to the Obese Woman Who Needs 1.5 Seats. She looks friendly, yes, & in theory is probably a safe bet, but the truth is that no matter how rockin' my bod may be, my ass is simply too large to fit in the half a seat this woman's presence has provided me with. I swallow a bubble of guilt -- she knows why no one's sitting there yet -- & move along.
I'd sit next to the Friendly Indie High Schooler, he of the floppy hair, welcoming smile & H&M scarf, but somehow it makes me feel like a creep. Although I'm a fan of the Ting Tings album emitting loudly from his iPod Touch, it seems somehow pedophiliac of me to opt for the seat next to a teen when every other option would place me next to a real person... er... legal adult.
I hesitate to sit next to others, too: Questionably Sane Man Muttering to Himself, Sleeping Guy At Risk of Drooling on My Knees, Shopper Toting Entirely Too Many Bloomingdale's Bags, Zealot Highlighting Biblical Passages...
I repeat: decisions, decisions. In the end, I chose the Friendly Indie High Schooler, primarily for the soundtrack that came with him.