Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Maybe because it has been such a long rainy spring and early summer, there seems to be an abundance of insects this year, making New York City seem like less of a city and more like some kind of urban swampland. We have had so many flies this year! And don't even get me started on the mosquitoes. They fly in through my open window at night and bite my hands.

Tonight after work I went out with a few of my coworkers and got some Mexican food. I took the other half of my Grande Quesadilla home in a to-go bag, and after parting ways with my friends, I walked across midtown and caught the D train home. But it went kind of slowly, giving me plenty of time to observe my fellow travelers, hiding within the anonymity of my blasting i-pod (Magnetic Fields: "Come back from San Francisco; it can't be all that pretty when all of New York City misses you..."). The man across from me to the left was dressed impeccably in a seersucker jacket with really interesting buttonholes at the cuffs, which revealed the perfect white shirt and dark crocheted tie. Trousers, shoes, hair--all perfect. I couldn't help but admire.

The girl across from me held her bookbag on her lap and looked around interestingly at her fellow passengers, too. The fidgety wiry man next to me seemed to watch her. Then they both watched as a huge fly circled around the car slowly and landed on her bag. Her first impulse was to flick it off with her fingers, but she hesitated and didn't go through with it. Shaking her bag a little, the fly just clung on. So she opened the cell phone that was in her hand and poked the fly with the tip of it. It just walked a few little bug-steps and that was it. So she nudged it again, harder, and it finally took off. The girl looked up with a huge beaming smile, probably wanting to laugh out loud, and I know the guy next to me smiled at her. I probably grinned as well, and maybe I chuckled. Then it was my stop, and when the doors opened I got up from my seat quickly, forgetting the food in my lap, which fell on the floor with a bang, startling a very loud squeak out of me. The thin wiry man picked it up and handed it to me, and I apologized. I wanted to look over at the man in the seersucker jacket--was he looking at me, wondering what all the commotion was? There was no time--I hopped out through the closing train doors, and bee-lined it for home, still thinking about the fat slow fly and how it goes in circles around an ever-moving, dimly lit, underground subway car while other flies zip around in the breezy green freedom of Central Park. Does it know? Do any of them know?


Just Julie said...

One of the things I miss most about New York is people-watching on the subway.

Mike said...

Why are the mosquitoes so bad this year? They are everywhere in the UWS.