Sweat, Pray, Run: One Woman’s Trifold Account of Bay Area Rapid Transit

Chapter 1: (Don’t) Sweat It

There has not been a day in the past 8 months I’ve walked into work not looking exactly as such:

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Every morning more or less begins the same.

7:45am: I make myself up and am feeling pretty damn proud for passing myself off as an adult-looking human.

8:40am: I arrive at Bart and inevitably, one or the other of my allergy-plagued eyes begins to leak uncontrollably. To the rest of the World, I appear to be crying maniacally for no particular reason. Most excellent.

8:42am: Two minutes and one travel pack of Kleenex later, I’m wedged between a character who looks a whole lot like Mama June and something cold and metallic. “Danger, do not lean against doors,” it says. Ok.

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8:50am: Pulling up at Powell I’m hunched over in T-Rex formation (which I predict to be the next big Beyo hit) to sheepishly hide the perspiration resultant of my eight minute bump-n-grind with Mama June. I’m spat through the train doorway, presumably by Mama J herself, and scurry up the escalator faster than that thing in The Grudge.

8:54am: My company’s doorman, Jerome, smiles at me as if nothing in the whole world is out of place. We must pay him well because at this point I’m well aware that I look like a box of melted crayons. He keys me into the elevator, probably hoping I will find my way to the basement to live out the rest of my life with all the other swamp goblins.

8:56am: I perform another high-speed horror crawl into the ladies room to plow through a tree’s worth of paper towels, hoping to dry the puddle where my face used to live before I am spotted by my Vogueish coworkers.

9am: I’m situated at my desk sipping on medium-gritty coffee, windblown by my Beyonce fan, as if I had in fact woken up like that. Ta-da.

Chapter 2: Pray You Don’t Catch the Cootie

Let’s play a game. It’s called “How Many Sick Days Can You Avoid Dipping Into After Touching All of the Grimy Bart Things?” I’ve gotten pretty good at this one- how about you? Here’s a cheat code: PuR3LL. You’re welcome.

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P much every other person walking on to Bart.

Fact: in one single commute on Bart, you are susceptible to more diseases than in an encounter with Bobo the Clown in the beer-marinated laundry room of a frat house (this sadly sounds…almost exactly how it sounds, and ends with one Goatman and two frozen burritos.) Forgive me father, I was young, wild, n’ free. Needless to say, the day my fancy water bottle took a nose dive onto the crusty floor of a Bart train and rolled in slow-mo under all of the turd-coated soles of the people, water boiled hotter than the seventh circle of hell could not salvage the Little Water Bottle That Could.

Chapter 3: Nowhere to Run.

There’s something stanky and not so mysterious ripping across on Bart trains around the Bay. For lack of channeling my inner boy scout, it’s known as…the Bart fart (this is the part where I lose all of my five readers, goodbye!) This ungodly phenomenon is a thing, I swear. Look it up, educate yo’self. Have you ever been crop dusted? *Confession: my boss explained this gnar concept to me just last week. For those concerned, he refrained from a demonstration.* Now imagine the culprit laying his crop and having NOWHERE TO RUN! Imagine being stuck in an eternal dutch oven, counting the seconds on your fingers, toes, fingers of strangers, toes of Mama June, every appendage of Davey Jones, until you can Mission Impossible your way out of the train to rediscover some uncontaminated airspace.

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I bet Jason Voorhees never smelled a Bart fart in his life and I’m not above taking a page from his protective gear book.

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