Public Transportation Diaries is BACK! by Shanelle Gabriel

Due to the demands of fans (well, mainly the persistence of my good friend Paul Brown), I decided to start writing my Public Transportation Diaries again. I stopped mostly because I drive now and also because I've been out of town a lot the past few months. However, it's ludicrous to drive into Manhattan anytime before 6pm, so I do have a few entries for your enjoyment. So, ENJOY!


When you get a car and become accustomed to the solitude and comfort of private transportation, the train can be annerving. It's like making a "number 2," leaving the bathroom without spraying, and coming back after 5 minutes...You don't realize how nasty it is till you've left.

Hence, my trip on the 3 train.

A man gets on the semi-full train at 14th Street and sits one seat away on my right. He looks a little dirty, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he was panhadling. However, he reaches in his pocket and pulls out a long string of dental floss. I close my eyes and pray he's not going to do what I think he is.

Of course, he does.

He begins to floss his teeth, getting every one from left to right. You can hear the floss being plucked as it forces plaque and pieces of food out from his incisors and molars. I try not to let him see the disgust on my face, but the lady across from me isn't trying. We're together on our 'grossed out'ness, which he pays no mind to and continues till his stop at 34th Street. He gets up, holds a pole with one hand, and discards the string of floss on the traincar floor. I couldn't hide my face then, and he saw it. He combats my look of disgust with one of anger. His eyes say "Heffa, whatcha lookin at? You gonna do something? Yea, I threw it on the floor. What?! I'll do the same thing to you if you look at me again." (Yea, I got all of that from his ONE look.) I quickly darted my eyes and he got off the train.

I instantly miss my car.