The Big Squeeze (originally posted on September 15, 2005)

Sooooooooooooo, yesterday I was sitting comfortably on the V train commuting to work. My commute is about a half an hour from the time I get on the train. During that time I read the paper for a few minutes and then doze off for a little while until I get to my stop. I don’t get enough sleep during the week and the nap helps. I like to sit on the end where there is a partition that I can lean against. It’s almost everyone’s favorite seat, I think. It is part of a 3 seat bench that has the indentation where your butt is supposed to fit right in. Sitting right next to me was a slender woman and right next to her was an average size man. When the doors opened up at Roosevelt Avenue, the man on the end got up and disembarked the train. The girl who was next to me slid over leaving the seat in the middle empty. As she was sliding over, a woman boarded the train who was no less than 350 lbs. and decided she was going to sit in that empty seat. I was thinking to myself, “oh no, why did that girl have to move over?” because this obese woman could not possibly fit into that small space without causing someone discomfort.

Suddenly, she turned around and positioned herself for her descent. When her rear end became level with the seat, she swiped her body to the left, then to the right and started to inch herself very carefully into that small opening. At first she was sitting on the edge but eventually, within the time frame of a few train stops, her spine was up against the back of the seat. I lost control of my arms as I was being compressed into the partition on my right. The left side of my body was starting to sweat and feel uncomfortable because of the fat that was overlapping onto me. I saw people staring, probably wondering how I felt being all squished up like that. This woman didn’t even say “excuse me”. I tried as hard as I could to bear with the situation but alas I couldn’t take it any longer. It took all of my energy to pull myself up out of that seat. It felt like a vacuum was created behind me as I rose up. When I was finally free I stood in front of her holding onto a rail. She had to know why I got up. She needed two seats. She eventually got them without a single word being uttered. That’s what I call throwing one’s weight around.

Eventually, another seat became available and I was able to sit down for a few stops but I never got that nap I needed.

It would have been nicer for her to make a request such as “do you mind if I sit down because in my present condition I can’t stand up comfortably?” Or something to that effect. I’m not angry about it, I just think it’s a funny story.

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