I'm on the Metro in Paris, and I am standing next to a small, overweight, middle aged dyke wearing all black, including a down jacket and heavy work boots in this heat of summer's beginnings.
She is emanating a sickeningly sweet stench of body odor and unwashed vagina. It has permeated everything and everyone in the car, poisoning them into a placated numbness. I will think that my shirt smells like this for three days.
She is planted, feet firmly placed, unmoving, and she stares straight ahead, not seeing us, the throngs surrounding her, our presence registering vaguely behind her black Oakley sunglasses. This is only visible because she nervously clenches and unclenches her jaw like a beast on the defensive.
She is so far beyond 'I dont care what the world thinks or expects of me', she has exploded into a new stratosphere of untamed aloneness, surrounded by a flock of invisible antagonists. This, and not speaking the same language, are as close as one can get to being alone in a crowd.
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