I'm an attorney in NYC, so it's a rare treat to leave the office before 6 PM. But since we worked until nearly 1 AM Tuesday night, our boss allowed us to leave "early" yesterday at 5:30. With this glory in tow, I got on the 1 train at Rector St. (the 2nd stop from the beginning of the line) and began my long trek uptown to Riverdale in the Bronx (2nd to last stop on the 1 Line). Although I got a seat, it immediately became clear that most people get off of work earlier than I normally do, and the period between 5:00 and 6:00 is brutal for public transport. By the fourth stop the train had reached epic claustrophobic overcapacity. I'm not complaining about that, though, because I did have a seat and anyone in possession of such a rare delicacy at rush hour would be a monumental douche if they did. Even if I didn't have a seat, the human sweatbox would pale in comparison to what happened next - by far the worst thing that's ever happened to me which didn't involve getting ejected from a moving vehicle.
The train was running extremely slow due to the overcrowding and a purported "sick passenger" at 72nd Street. Nonetheless my voyage to hell chugged on with gritty perseverance. By 59th Street, the train was so packed I couldn't even see my book because the man standing over me had his man purse draped over my lap. Then the worst thing that ever happened, happened just after the doors closed at 66th Street.
First, I hear the man standing over me sort of sneeze and cough at the same time. Like a Vietnam film in super slo-mo, I then felt a splash of warm liquid land in my hair, and across my face and neck. I thought to myself: Did this guy really just sneeze all over me?!? Disgusted, I looked up at him. What I saw made me grasp for rosary beads to pray that it was only a sneeze.. when I looked up I was horrified to learn that it wasn't a sneeze at all, nay, the man had just vomited and was choking on a mouthful of the stuff which he didn't know what to do with. I tried to jump up, but to no avail. There was nowhere to go, the train was too packed. At that moment the gentlemen could no longer hold back and he let loose again, this time on my leg and shoes. This continued for what felt like a year until we reached 72nd Street and he staggered off. I wanted to follow, but, too full of shame to seek help and clean clothes I elected to slog it out on the train and get home as quickly as possible.
If the gentlemen who puked on me is reading this, I ask him to confirm that this was an alcohol-fueled event and not a virus? Based on the liquid-to-food ratio of what I found in my hair I assume (and desperately hope) it was alcohol.