The A train was crowded this morning, unusual for Fridays. I sat between two large black women, and across from me was a mother with two little girls. People of all ages, races, and sizes standing aimlessly about. A standard morning, until everyone, myself included, felt something off. We all started to squirm. We all started to cough, hold our noses, and look from side to side, all thinking the same thing, but saying nothing out loud.
Someone had farted, and it was bad.
The large black woman to my left quickly stood and moved to the far end of the train. An old man a few seats down covered his face with a handkerchief and shook. And the two little girls tightly closed their eyes and wiggled their cute little noses. The rest of us stared at each other, knowing one of us was responsible for the stench, but no one fessed up. We all just sat there, silent, marinating in an invisible dust, until finally one of us snapped.
"It wasn't me!" The large black woman said to my right. "I see you all looking at me! But I didn't cut no cheesy!" And then there was silence. I had been holding my breath, for obvious reasons, but I finally exhaled and started to laugh.
"What?" the woman said. "That's what my daddy used to call it. Cuttin' cheesy!" She smiled at me, and a man a few feet down raised his arm.
"I call it butt-thunder," the man said. "BANG, BANG!" And then the two little girls started to laugh, though their mother quickly hushed them back down.
"Butt-thunder is what we got here!" the large black woman said. "We're all just sitting here looking at each other, wondering who did it!"
"Poofy!" one of the little girls said. "Poofy, Poffy!" Then the mother started to laugh, finally realizing there was no point in trying to stop it. One person clapped, another danced, and I said nothing. I simply watched everyone smile. People who would never say a word to one another letting go of all inhibitions and acting like kids.
Strangers heading to