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Subway germs gave me balance

Updated on December 5, 2009

Often people turn to yoga for balance. I use the subway for mine. The very idea of touching the hand rails are absolutely deplorable. I see a hand covering a mouth of a wet sneeze or cough only to place a grip on one of the chrome poles of all things foul. If I can't find a seat, I plant my feet firmly to the floor, slightly bend my knees and use the idea of some weird human version of mange possibly infecting me if I touch down on a hand rail as my type of zen paranoiac incentive.

I had a friend who, on a drunken bet, licked one of those rails for five bucks and afterwards, he got really sick with nausea and flu like symptoms. I don't even think he ever got his bet money either. But thats what he gets for participating in drunken friend pet tricks.

I'm not down with anti-bacterial lotion which only challenges germs to put on their little fighter helmets and learn to over throw the anti-bacterial stuff created out of need for consumer's to feel more civilized in a savage city. This stuff only weakens the body and contributes to the ever growing phenomena of staph infections that are becoming more largely because of the sissifying of a body that should be able to fight germs and bacteria on its own.

Back to the subway balancing act and me grabbing my book for balance and riding the subway wave masterfully. Sometimes I have to clutch onto a rail with a sleeved hand as I imagine the subway driver thinking herself an Evel Knievel type who loves to launch and lurch the passengers to give us our money's worth. Those moments can be amusing when you see the baby in his stroller roll and knock into the accordianed musician who falls into the woman who picked the wrong time to apply lipstick. Her red streaked face watches as her tube of MAC lipstick flies into the change cup of a homeless beggar. All fun and games until my skin has contact with one of those hand rails then I'm upset and silently cursing the driver who I know won't be feeding me chicken soup and buying me medicine while my gangrenous hand twitches feebly. Okay. Okay. Chicken soup doesn't help gangrene but you get the point.

In any case, after being able to travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back while barely budging, I have to thank the germs for persuading me to have the balance that I now do have. Thank you MTA for my outstanding sea legs. When I graduate to cabbing it and think back to my struggling days when I rode the subway, I'll stare at my top of the line latexed gloves that permanently cover my hands when ever I leave the house then look at my framed photo of Howard Hughes in his last days and think of how lucky I am. Not only can I afford these gloves or that frame or the cabs but also how great it is to have reached the level of success where all my eccentricities, quarks and phobias are now pampered and written off as just me being "artistically inclined." As common folk, my resistance to touch the rails can be viewed as OCD and off I'm huddled into the masses, prescribed a pill and forgotten. But when you've reached a certain status, your story is covered by People magazine and your every whim is catered to.

They're germs. They're everywhere! But I still won't touch the hand rails in the subway. Never! Never!! Never!!!


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    • Gabriella D'Anton profile image

      Gabriella D'Anton 8 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      Great story; germs, glaves, humor and all. I loved it!