It will be Monday morning and I will be deep in the depths of the NYC subway system waiting for the F train. It could be 16 degrees outside and there will still be rivulets of sweat building up in my mustache region and adding an extra glimmer to my forehead. A drip of sweat will inevitably make its way into my eye. Everything will go blurry and I’ll be forced to blink a lot, getting a taste of that precious state of shut-eye. And I will be smitten.
At this point, my mind is made up. There’s no talking me out of it.
When the F finally arrives and I walk onto the subway car, I actually won’t even be walking at all. I will have resigned myself to the throngs of people, elbows up, trying to cram their way into the subway car, and I will let them whisk me off my feet as I ride their wave into my morning commute. I will wait until after the doors are closed, when the next stop is express. I will try and be as inconspicuous as possible, as I nudge my way over to you: the cleanest and least pedophile-looking man in the subway car. Clean because, after all, your shoulder will serve as my pillow for the foreseeable future. And man because—well, a man (as opposed to a woman) is less likely to report this as sexual harassment.
I will shimmy on over to you, pretending to be in a hurry to get off the subway car and make my next train, when in fact the subway is still moving at a swift pace. And then, in one fell swoop, I will cock my head to the right until it lands softly on your shoulder pad. “What are you d—” you will try and ask me, to which I will put my pointer finger to your lips, muffle you, and say, “Hush hush, my sweet boy. Just let it happen…” I will be too nauseous to care.
I will then think about something calm or, more likely, nothing at all as I doze off. I’m asleep, though entirely cognizant of the fact that this slumber is only temporary. Still, the slumber is no less gratifying, no less satisfying, no less satiating. I know I am only asleep for three minutes but it will feel like five hours. Because doesn’t an extra five minutes of sleep in the morning always feel like an extra hour? But mostly because I’m only human and therefore not tremendously comfortable with sleeping on a stranger’s tweed shoulder. And so, I will sleep, but with one eye open, remaining extremely aware of every passing second that you don’t push me off of you.
But I will persevere. My knees will inevitably give way and all of my weight will be carried in my chin—the chin that is leaning on your shoulder. I will drool—oh yes I will! I will drool all over your tweed shoulder suit. It may even crust.
And then, it will all suddenly come to a halt as I’m jolted awake at the sound of “This is 14th Street. Transfer is available…” Before I leave, imperceptibly, like a passing mirage, I will glance up one last time and give you my most titillating and seductive eye. I don’t even have to utter a word, the look says it all: “You tell anyone, and it’s your ass on the line. Because buddy, your shoulder is mine.”