.troubling personal space: the bus ride home.

today on a crowded bus a man sat down right next to me. there were very few seats on the bus, and most of us were, with our thick winter coats like marshmallow buffers, squeezed against one another. but something happened (or didn’t happen, rather) when he slid beside me: he didn’t do the obligatory shift-away/mumbled-apology-for-violating-personal-space thing. he just sort of stayed there, our arms (albeit beneath our coats) providing heat, shoulder-to-shoulder, touching. we didn’t look at each other the whole trip, but we sat, comfortably, the same way i would settle next to a long-time lover on the living room couch.

i suddenly had an overwhelming urge to snuggle closer and rest my head in the curve between his flannel plaid jacket’d shoulder and the nook of his scruffy chin. not because i was sexually attracted to him–again, i only internalized his presence peripherally and viscerally–but because he was a body that, in becoming tactile, made my body tactile too. and there was something very powerful about that.

i didn’t. but i wish i had. i think he would have responded, without a word, by leaning his head on top of mine. and i think that would have been enough.

next time.


2 thoughts on “.troubling personal space: the bus ride home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s