Friday, March 27, 2009

On Lookers

I was on the train this morning with a herd of eastern European high school kids on some sort of group trip that necessitated being in this country, being on the subway and being in my way, but also being adolescently excited in that school trip kind of way that is, as yet for me, unparalleled in adulthood. Everyone involved in a school trip (teachers and parents and kids unleashed on a city with an itinerary and pocket cash) knows it’s bullshit and no one’s learning anything—or, at least, anything that will enhance a two-page essay for Global Studies. But the group swindle is a great phenomenon. Everyone plays along just for the sake of breaking the routine. Imagine if you, your boss, the president of your company and all your co-workers just agreed that for the next three days, yep, you all have “food poisoning.” Wink wink.

Anyway, someone asked me recently whether I’ve noticed how freakishly tall the riders of the L train are, and I actually had. L train commuters are Amazons. But I also think the L train is a freakishly beautiful train (for whatever reason that probably has to do with having a high net worth). The F, my old transit stomping grounds, was not a particularly attractive train. It was difficult to even find a train crush. I eventually found a clumsy dork who hummed along to his headphones, but my taste tends to skew nerdy and I’m not sure how many other hearts he would’ve set a-thumping.

The L is a different story. There are fashion people, for sure, who obviously work in their industry as a result of being beautiful, but a shocking proportion of the rest of the train is jaw-droppingly pretty too. My uterus begs me to procreate with half the dudes on every car so I can add their genes to my average pool, like so much Tang into tap water.

So, three of the foreign school trip boys were brave enough to swim away from the school of fish to take advantage of an open bench across the car from me. I would guess they were probably about 16, maybe 17, and all awkwardly tall and hulking. They sat on this scale of Cro-Magnon beauty that ranged from “Pirates of the Caribbean Extra” to “Likely Face of Next Prada Campaign.”

I’m not sure any of them would’ve known which was which. They were all equal parts swagger, which makes me think they were all equal parts uncertainty, which makes me jealous that boys can retain that idea that attractive is something you might yet magically turn out to be for much longer than girls do. Girls figure out whether pretty is in the cards by the time they’re 10; contingency identities, if necessary, are in place by middle school.


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