It was perched towards the front of a cloth covered seat on the inbound Red line subway train: the remains of a previous commuter's ham and cheese croissant. One by one the seats on the train filled up until only the sandwich-laden seat remained. As people boarded the crowded train you could see their eyes light up upon noticing the vacant seat. Then their eyes would scan down to the sandwich and cloud over. They would quickly move along.
Everyone seemed to be waiting for someone to move the sandwich. Who would do it? Apparently no one. It was still holding court when we arrived at Park Street. Not even the jarring of the cars going around a sharp corner could jolt the sandwich off the seat.
If the sandwich had been a newspaper no one would have thought twice about moving it, brushing it onto the floor, or even picking it up and reading it themselves. But the sandwich was like a lump of radioactive plutonium, no one was going near it. Everyone saw it but everyone pretended to ignore it.
It was the city version of the elephant in the room.
It was the culinary version of Charlie on the MTA.
It will ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston.
Or at least until the cleaning crew comes through.
song: Let It Ride • artist: Bachman, Turner, Overdrive