we've all picked our noses…

    It wasn’t like he was trying to even hide the fact that he was about to pick his nose; he didn’t turn away or hide his finger with his book, he just went for it.  He reached in real slow, like if he moved too fast, he would trip off an alarm.  His hand moved off his lap with his finger already erect and ready to mine for gold.  By the time his finger had reached his neck I was staring straight at him.  I was just three feet away from him on the opposite side of the el.  I looked around at the few other passengers but no one seemed to see the gross misconduct that was inevitably about to go down.  The woman a few seats down was asleep with her head thrown back against the wall and her mouth ajar.  The man in the suit with his tie loosened was captivated by his blackberry.  So I just watched the curly haired man come closer and closer to his nostril with his greedy finger.  It finally reached the hole and entered.  He sat staring directly ahead of himself while he twisted and gyrated his hand, still keeping the finger absolutely straight.  It looked like his finger had a camera on the end and he was taking in the live footage in front of him.  Then the glorious moment came when he extruded the finger with a yellowish nugget on the end.  The relief on his face was that of a father, seeing his newborn child thrust from his sweating wife, wailing and sobbing freshly covered with birth juices and tossed into his arms.  He looked so proud for that small moment, until he realized that his discovery needed to be dealt with.  It couldn’t spend the rest of its existence on his finger.  He had to set that which he loved, free.  The squeaky tracks bobbed the passengers back and forth in their seats; they were still unaware of the booger picker.  People got on and off the train completely oblivious to the man with his newly birthed nugget.  The paranoia was sinking in.  He began looking around for a place to dispose of it.  I looked down at my feet hoping he wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  I saw his feet shuffle from side to side on the sticky floor until they halted and became quite still.  I slowly peeked back up at his pale face.  He looked like a great cat before it readies itself to pounce on his prey; so still, so terrifyingly reposed.  That’s when the finger started up again, in the same slow deliberate motion as before, except this time there was a booger on the end of the erect finger.  He passed over his small beer belly, up past the buttons on his gray rain coat and up to his chin.  Then he reached the nose, only he didn’t enter the same way, he went into the other nostril, the alternate entrance.  Again the turning and twisting commenced and out popped the finger.  It was clean and rid of the first burden.  My face must have lost its pigment, I can not believe this man, this grown thirty something man picked his nose and transplanted his booger.  I have not even seen a child do something so unbelievable.  Was he saving it for later?  Did he have a jar at home where he hoarded his findings and labeled and organized them by day?  Why would you save your booger?  Why don’t you use a tissue?  The next stop came and he stood to exit.  He turned into the aisle and looked at me, then the floor.  He reached down and picked something up with the same hand he had been picking with.

            “Is this yours?” He said holding it in front of me.  I looked at the book, which was mine and recoiled from his offer.

            “Nope, you can have it,” I blurted.  He looked confused and shrugged setting the book down in the empty seat next to me.

            “Have a good one, he said walking out the door.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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