Dear Woman on the D Train,
I don’t know if you noticed me today, but I rode the D train with you from 59th to your stop on Tremont Ave. I was the one standing in the middle of the car, reading Sea Glass, but I doubt you noticed.
But that’s alright, I mean I didn’t notice you either at first. You were seated, I was busy trying to hook the pole with my elbow (don’t want to put my hands on it…flu season and all) while keeping my nose in my book. I registered in the back of my mind that I had trod on something crunchy but I didn’t think much of it.
We passed 145th, no issues. At 125th you got a little nervous. Looked like you weren’t sure if 125th was your stop? You stood up, and I took your seat (I did take two dance classes today so sitting was a relief). You second guessed yourself however, and re-seated yourself next to me.
It was then that my nostrils began to twitch and little warning bells went off in my head. I pulled my eyes away from the pages of Anita Shreve’s fine literature and took in a terrible sight.
A bag of peanuts. Your long finger-nailed hands digging in the bag stirring up a little cloud of peanut-y dust. With horror I realized what the crunching beneath my feet had been. My eyes drifted downward and confirmed my fear…the train was positively littered with peanut shells.
Your peanut shells.
Gross, yes. You are not at a baseball game.
Beyond that is the fact that I happen to be deathly allergic to nuts of all forms, including peanuts. My throat wanted to close up just looking at the mess surrounding me. My survival instincts were telling me to run as far as I could from you and your salty peanut fingers, but there was no where to run! The train was full to the brim making mobility all but impossible.
I suffered through the rest of the ride until Tremont Ave, hiding behind my book and probably pushing into the person to my left a little too much for their comfort, but given the choice between getting a little up close and personal and a trip to the emergency room, I’ll take making new friends. Even after you made your departure the peanut smell lingered and the shells were scattered around my feet to remind me of the looming danger.
At my stop I quickly exited the train. It wasn’t until I took a deep inhale of the air in the station (which is pretty damp and gross to tell the truth) that I realized I’d been hardly breathing for fear of slipping into anaphylactic shock.
So, Woman on the D Train, next time you feel the need to bring your salty snack aboard the train with you, please be considerate. I can say with 97.6% certainty that I am not the only person in New York City with an allergy to peanuts and though we are in the minority, we would greatly appreciate it if you enjoyed your snack without endangering our lives. Maybe bring a second bag for your shells? That would be lovely, thanks.
Even besides that, common courtesy! The D train may not be exactly spic and span but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to make it worse!
Anyway, Woman on the D Train, I wish I could say it was a pleasure sharing a ride with you, but seeing as I feared for my life a good majority of our time together, that would be a lie.
Needing a bath of hand-sanitizer,