Space in the City

In Manhattan, you’d think that everyone understands the need to occupy the least amount of space possible, considering most residents are paying at the very least a grand for about 500-750 square feet of space. So then can someone PLEASE explain to me how I am constantly encountering these cumbersome PITAs who insist on aggressively spilling over into my (small) allotted space? In the past week, I’ve noticed the following situations where the space of others (and by others I mean me) was not appreciated:

In the pool: In Manhattan, you cannot expect the luxury of your own lane even. So you’re swimming approximately a foot or two away from the other swimmers. Basically, each pool allows up to 8 people. As I swim in the busiest Times Square pool, there are always at least 7 other people at all times. Yet each time without fail, the two people on either side of me have chosen to do the BREASTSTROKE. I only swim freestyle out of respect for the other lappers as it takes up the least amount of space. I mean, I’d like to bust out some butterfly, but that’s RUDE.

On the subway: This guy next to me is reading his WSJ FULLY OPEN, touching my white shirt with his newsprint and flipping through pages (whilst still keeping it open) on a crowded train where I have to put my gym bag on the floor to allow for some room so that I’m not in someone’s armpit.

On the sidewalk: Maybe things are different below 14th street or something, but since I started working downtown, I’ve noticed that people walk 3 or 4 across in groups, very slowly and do not allow for passing. The rule is if you think you’re a faster walker than I (and 95% of the time, you’re not), I’ll deign to allow you in front of me. Otherwise, move to the side.

It’s conceivable that I just have PMS, but all week people have been edging into my aura in a major way and I can’t take it. Maybe it’s leftover from my High School eating disorder phase, but I always make it a point to occupy the least amount of space possible.

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