Now, when I travel on the subway, I look for men with spread legs. I like to pretend that I am a knife cutting them in half. When I sit between two men practicing this posture (with the minimal space they leave open), I feel like I am silently reminding their knees that it’s OK to make contact.
I want to whisper into their ears: Are you airing something out that cannot wait until you get home?
I want to spread my legs and practice a yoga pose that is inconsiderate for train travel and see if anyone notices.
When I sit beside/between these men, I locate the geography of my body. Everything is squished together like the suffocated insides of a sandwich. I can barely turn the pages of whatever book I am trying to read because even my elbows are forced to squeeze against my sides.
I search for these male-spreaders with my eyes. They are everywhere.
A male on the 4 train heading uptown takes up 3 seats! I agressively/politely say, “Excuse me,” as I fold my body into one of the orange squares, forcing him into 1.5 seats.
Another on the C train heading into Brooklyn could fit an entire refrigerator box between his thighs pushed apart like wings.
Now, people are documenting these spreaders. There are websites and pages giving notice to this epidemic of inconsideration.
But is there a cure?