NYC Musings: Q Train Cowboy

Q Train Cowboy

By Fern White

He boarded the Q Train at the Sheepshead Bay Station, and like lightening the Asian girl scooted to the other end of the seat.  He glanced at her, walked past and leaned his bicycle against the silver often used by riders to keep from falling. 

It was not long before everyone realized why the Asian girl acted moved with such speed.  He smelled like a cesspit. People turned up the noses, others muttered and moved to the other end of the car.  I continued staring.

He held my gaze for a few seconds, and seemingly misconstrued my intent, starting speaking to me.  I looked away quickly.

He must have been about 6’5” – very tall, wore faded jeans a flannel shirt over which he wore a grey T-Shirt.  He wore scuffed brown boots and a cowboy hat. The pungent odor must be from riding his bike in the sun all day, coupled with the fact that he forgot to take a bath before he left home I surmised.

As the train lurched, he held up his palm in the direction of the bicycle and said “stay, stay,” and as if it heard him the bicycle remained stationary.  He took his eyes off the bicycle and began to fight with his plastic bags emblazoned with the CVS logo. 

From his bag he removed about six slices of bread, which he stuffed into his mouth.  He’s hungry I thought.  A bottle of iced tea came out next, and he drank enthusiastically making glugging sounds even oven the noise of the train.  So wrapped up he was in eating that when the train lurched again and his bicycle landed on the ground with a thud, he didn’t even move.  The Q-Train Cowboy was too happy to be sitting and eating to care.

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