Sunday, May 07, 2006

Death Bagel

It looked so innocent. A bagel, sliced in twain, spread liberally with cream cheese... a staple of the New York diet as common as a slice of pizza, street vendor hot dogs and tap water that could, on occasion, be labled "chunky." Tasty? Of course. Filling? Sure, sure. Lethal?

Turns out... very nearly.

I'm walking back from the Post Office, a package in hand, and I pass an innocuous-looking deli; one of the roughly 3.5 billion all over the burroughs of New York. Let me stress this... it looked perfectly normal. There weren't homeless men defecating in the corner, no junkies openly sharing needles in the refridgerated cases, the place was free of rats, roaches, mold and general filth; the very picture of rigorous health-code standards. Evil, of course, approches you with a smile. I purcahce the aformentioned bagel and cream cheese, eating it happily, innocently, unawares of the reality that will soon have me locked in battle with the forces of darkness.

Forty-or-so minutes later, I'm on the N train, work-bound, and my stomach is doing a damn fine impression of the San Andreas fault. I'm hot, then cold, sweating, then teeth-chattering. I can feel, slowly, like the creeping north of a thermometer's mercury, my gorge rising. The N train emerges from underground and rises above the East River on the Manahttan bridge. The subway car is flooded with brilliant sunlight, behind me in her harbor the Statue of Liberty stands regal and proud and I, unable to fight it any longer, vomit all over myself like a fraternity pledge on Rush Week. Three times, actually. I try to conceal the biological disaster by removing the top shirt I'm wearing and using it as a catch-all for my stomach's contents. That, of course, only serves to funnel the spew over my arms and onto the seat to my right and the train's floor on my left. My lap is now a lake of horrors, my beard is now a jungle of crusted hurl and shame, my torso in unmentionable.

Make no mistake... I am covered in vomit. It occurs to me, as I am being stared at by all my fellow passengers with a truly special mix of revulsion and pity, that I need to exit the train like now. At the next stop, Canal Street (Chinatown; why do all the bad things happen to me in Chinatown) I pitch myself out the doors, hitting the wall of the platform and sliding down to the ground in a pathetic puddle of my own sick. I sit there, quietly praying for death or, at the very least a time machine which I could employ to aide in my fire-bombing of the deli that sold me the foul baked good and it's unholy dairy spread.

Eventually, half an hour or so later, I manage to hoist myself to my feet and, like a wounded soldier trying to make it back to camp, I lurch up the stairs, across the station, and down to the subway that will take my disgusting, beaten, thoroughly humiliated carcass home. Naked and nasty, I drifted in and out of conciousness, crawling towards the white, welcoming light of good health at a slow, but steady pace.

I made it, barely, and I'm okay now, but I do believe I've learned a valuable lesson here... don't try to puke into your shirt on the subway. That way lies madness.


Blogger lisa said...

yet another reason to shave. vomit clings to beards.

7:28 PM  

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