Monthly Archives: March 2010

Groped on the New York Subway

Breaking away from Flatbush, Brooklyn to attend high school in Manhattan was an amazing event. It marked the transition from child to, well, not yet man, but something in-between. Sex was often on my mind and references and innuendos slipped into every encounter. I had graduated from  TROUBLE IN FLATBUSH to a whole new venue of dilemmas. It’s important to remember that this was the early 50s, when strangers were generally trusted. I was a beginning high-school freshman.
It wasn’t long before I had a strange confrontation that introduced me to the rich variety of strangers that I would meet on the subway of New York. My ride home was long and I was generally tired from a busy day at school. Getting a seat was an imperative and a window seat that enabled a restful snooze was a luxury. Coming home at roughly the same time every day allowed me to get familiar with the faces in the crowd. Knowing their stops enabled me to frequently snag a window seat. It wasn’t long before I daydreamed my way to a restful snooze.
One day while I was deep in daydream at a window seat, the seat next to me became empty. It was quickly taken by a good-looking man in a stylish suit. He fiddled with his New York Times opening the large sheets and starting to read. In a semi-daze, my eyes opened and closed, sometimes reading, sometimes just staring at his newspaper. It was hard to avoid since the newspaper was so large it covered part of my lap like a tent.
That’s when it started. My thigh nearest the stranger started to feel warm. It took me a few seconds to realize that he was only holding the paper with one hand. The other hard was exploring new territory; mine. My first instinct was to pretend that I was sleeping with my mind in a different place. Perhaps my mind was, but my thigh was right there, trapped under the New York Times. As his leg pressed against mine, I shrunk closer to the window. The car was packed tight with a rush-hour crowd and under cover of the New York Times I was being groped.
My first sensation was an uncertain fear, followed by excitement of the stimulation, but followed again by a chill that curled my toes and made my hair tingle. Afraid of insulting the well-dressed man, I tucked my books under my arm and excused myself. As I glanced back, he winked with a friendly smile. In a pretense of nonchalance, I got off the train. I could still feel an impression of a strange hand moving inward from my thigh. That feeling doesn’t go away so easily.