There is a quick transition as one descends the concrete steps under the giant red Subte sign from the cold humid air of the outside to the still stagnate warm air of the lower levels. I stand amongst people who stand. They wait and think, I think. What do they think? Maybe about their jobs or about their home or about a venereal disease. There is something about subways that feels venereal and diseased. It´s the artificial light, not sterile like a hospital, more like a dark doctor´s office in a film noir, and the smell. The undescribable putrid smell of musts and have-tos, scruffs of rubber soles and trash from a century of fast paced walkers, to absorbed in whatever they are doing to notice the grotesqueness of so many people moving and smelling together.
What do I think? I think what a fucking cock sore it is to fit inside this tube with all those strangers. But here it comes, screeching in, slowing and the doors opening. I get inside. I have some room. This isn´t so bad.
Next stop, however, is. I see through the half open window that the crowd crams all the way back to the edge of the concave walls behind them, waiting as the train slows. People are ready. They are close to the door, and boom, it opens. The flood is magnificent. The raging sea of multi-colored craniums with stoic lips and eager dedication gains momentum pushing the tide to its brink, devouring the ones exiting, how they fight to break the wash of human extremities. The red haired woman falls and screams, "Dios."
Where is the humanity?
And the flood is aghast but not slowing. They push in, all of them. The last stragglers have their bodies sticking halfway out. Then the overweight man runs passed all those that knew they couldn´t fit, the ones that will wait for the next train. He pushes passed them and against me. He can´t fit, I think. He pushes and pushes. The fat of his gelatanous belly, stuffed to the brim with lasagna and choripan, enclose my hand on the metal railing that I grip so tight, jamming it, making it impossible to retract. This motherfucker, I think, why did he do this? What is so fucking important that he had to get on this train? But then I think about the times I have hurried on late for an appointment, confused along my way, and I understand. And I stop hating him for one second until his fat gummy stomach devours more of my flesh from my fingertips down to my forearm. The small cutish girl with the black and white scarf standing next to me closes her eyes hoping for the end to come. My eyes are open, but our hearts and desires are aligned. I look behind me, as I stand beside the door, my hand still consumed by the self-thinking pudding matter that's most likely filled with semi-digested cookies.
I look at all the serious faces. They don´t realize they are riding this train. They are somewhere else entirely, except for that one. A girl, she smiles as her body goes with the crowd and the turning train and her face dissapears behind a poof of black hair and I don´t see her again.
What could she be smiling about? Masochist. I like it. It scares me. Am I getting a boner? No, just a slight genital gesticulation. But I don´t see her again. The train slows and people get off. Not me. Lucky bastards. The displeasure is decreasing. A seat opens and I take it. The fat man is still standing there by himself. My hand has survived the small subway holocaust.
My stop comes. Retiro. I leave amongst the thousands of people. A restaurant serving draft beer in the subway has life, but who would want to have a beer in this dungeon? The rats thats who.
I come out to the top. I feel the cool air and it's refreshing. People pass me in both directions. I need to find Cafe Retiro. I have a job interview. The busses move passed me with diesel humms and squeaky brakes. The Cafe retiro is in the train station and I find the cute woman who will administer the interview. I find that our body movements are somewhat sexual. But I always think this unless a woman is completely repulsed by me. In which case, I find it even more sexual, behind every repulse is an impulse.