Personal Space? What Personal Space?

8 Jan

Recently, on a visit home, my sister commented on my new lack of personal space.  Or rather, my newfound comfort with stepping into others’. We were at the mall, a few days after Christmas, it was very crowded, and I felt very free to scoot past people, grazing them with my bags as necessary.

I blame New York. As I’ve previously written, and as almost anyone who’s visited Manhattan knows, there is no personal space in New York.  Everything is public; everything is up for grabs. Waiting politely a few feet behind someone in line? Watch out. You’ll be snaked in mere seconds. I’ve learned it’s nothing personal. They just didn’t think you were in line. Otherwise you’d be nuzzled up against the front person’s back, just like everyone else.

The subway is the worst for this.

Escalator to Hell (I mean the E train)

I’ve been bumped and prodded, shoved and pushed, onto trains, off of trains, into and out of stations. On two separate occasions, I’ve been shoulder-checked by foul-mouthed teenagers, each of whom told me to “get the fuck out of the way.” Nice, huh? The first time it happened, I was really  upset. Unnerved, angry, disturbed. I was thinking of it for days. The second time? I bumped the bitch back. (Sorry, Mom.)

After my sister pointed it out, I found myself actually proudly telling her about how I’ve become desensitized, how efficiently I duck and weave and bob. I still don’t feel quite comfortable calling myself a New Yorker, but I’m slipping down the slippery slope.

-Jho

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One Response to “Personal Space? What Personal Space?”

  1. Tita Nene January 11, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    That aquarium consumed to much fish, time, energy and emotions. I like it too. Love your poem. God bless and take care.

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