This is part one of a three-part story.
I boarded an A train at 42nd street in 2012 after seeing The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway. The train was packed, but there were two seats together, so I sat down with the other person I was traveling with.
It was a train like the one pictured above, and facing me was a woman of about 300 lbs. When I sat, her knees had crossed into my territory and they were digging into my leg. Because of this, she started swearing at me under her breath.
Annoyed with her threatening mumblings, I turned and said, “Maybe you could move your legs a bit. Please.”
The woman screamed, “Fuck you, you FAT BITCH!”
The person next to me gasped audibly. I looked at the woman and just started laughing. In the moment I wasn’t trying to egg her on, I was just floored by what she had said to me. I am not a small person by any means, but a 300 pound woman calling me a fat bitch was ridiculous.
So I rode the train to Brooklyn, squished by her knees, and sat in silence while she loudly berated me for 20 minutes. It took everything in me not to unleash my inner monster on her, but I stayed calm to claim victory over the ignorant.
I finally got off the A train at Jay Street – Metrotech to transfer to the F train; relieved that the angry woman had stayed on the A train. But little did I know that she would be the least upsetting thing about my commute home that evening.