I love taking the subway because it’s a great place to people watch. And, an amazing place to eye-fuck. Last night my friend Jules and I were taking the train back to Brooklyn after seeing James Blake at Terminal 5. It was beautiful out so we walked all the way from the venue, at 56th and 11th Avenue, through Times Square, past Herald Square, through Chelsea, all the way to the 14th Street L stop. When the train finally came, we got in and continued talking but our conversation came to a screech when The Hot Guy walked in. We both looked at each other like…how do I sign up for that.
The hot guy is wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a black motorcycle jacket. Cool, edgy, early 30s and looks like he maybe plays the drums in some band or is, perhaps, a freelance poet. He’s tall with amazing cheek bones and a nice, full head of black hair. He was so hot. Sort of like a 21st century James Dean.
Jules gets out at Union Square, we kiss and hug goodbye. I’m praying The Hot Guy stays. He does. The train was kind of crowded, as it usually is at this time of night, and I kept thinking to myself: PLEASE GOD STAND CLOSER TO ME. I give him an invitation to do exactly that. I’m leaning against the door and at first we make brief, probably meaningless eye-contact and he steps in my direction, stands directly in front of me verrrrry close in a nearly sexual way that only happens when you take public transportation.
My body language changes involuntarily. My pulse quickens, and in my head I’m cycling through a number of XXX scenarios I wish could happen. I look up at him, eye-fucking, and I flash a quick smile that contains the imprint of exactly what I’m thinking…
He knows I’m checking him out. People know when they’re being eye-fucked. Flirting with someone nonverbally on public transportation is a delicate dance of exchanging glances that contain promises and ignite the erotic imagination. You can tell when someone is disinterested in your eye-fucking because they act disinterested in your eye-fucking.
I know he’s looking at me. Maybe it’s not even sexual? Maybe it’s just because he’s standing so close and there’s really nothing else to do with your eyes at this distance. But there’s an energy. Flirtation is an exchange of energy. We are so close I can smell the mixture of cologne and leather from his jacket. We’re so close I can see that he has beautiful hands, big and ripe, with long thick fingers and I can see he doesn’t bite his nails.
I sneak glances at him when he’s not looking.
He is doing the same, mirroring me.
Here we are, looking at each other not look at each other.
As we coast into the Bedford stop the train unusually pulls in on the opposite side of the platform which means we get to get out first. He looks down at me and says, “Heh, nice.” Climax reached.
I flash him a smile, get out of the train and we both go our separate ways.
There’s something exciting about flirting with or eye-fucking a missed connection — the tease of the unknown and the fact that you can idealize the experience and store it in your mind to think back on it when you need a pick me up. Flirting is the spice of life. It’s part of what makes us feel human.