leaning against the side of the metro as we bumped along the track was not a new sensation. even the body in close proximity wasn't new. i haven't ridden in the harem, all female, car yet as i've been riding with M so i just squeeze in with the other men and women into some version of a person-sized space.

but this evening the car wasn't that full. and so the body resting next to me, his arm actually touching mine, felt a little odd. it was only a little odd because it took me a few stops to notice.

once i noticed i moved over, giving him the space and holding on to the rail. he moved over and grabbed the same rail – letting his hand rest slightly against mine. i moved my hand and again his fell next to mine.

this time i moved to the center of the car and stood. he stared.

uncomfortable, i moved to the other side. he continued to stare. and even as he moved to the door to exit, his hands full with rugs, he continued to stare.

and while i've been hissed at in america, ogled in tanzania, and felt-up in south africa…obviously much more tangible lewdness…this one felt no less palpable…no less real for its physical restraint.

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