Imagine you are in your third trimester of pregnancy…
It takes literally all your energy to roll out of bed, shower, slip on your stretch pants, and maybe…just maybe slap on some mascara to look like a halfway decent human for the next 8-10 hours. Even after all this you have to account for the 20 extra minutes you have to lay on your couch mustering up the energy to walk out your front door.
Now imagine after you haul yourself three blocks down the road and to the bart train (the whole while listening to abba and crying because you are hella pregnant and Abba gives you feelings) and that you finally get on your crowded bart train and head directly to the handicap/pregnancy/old person seating only to find two able bodied techies in their late 20’s playing candy crush and totally avoiding eye contact with you.
This was every work day of my pregnancy for the last 7 months.
In the first trimester a seat on the train was literally the least of my worries. I had to battle my morning sickness (aka all damn day sickness) and my new found sensitivity to smells combined with the homeless people often sleeping, pooping and drinking on the train. I would carry a brown paper bag on the train with me as a reinforcement to puke in just to make it to and from work.
Now after my first trimester was over I used it all as a social experiment. I took pictures of people most days who wouldn’t get up for me, bump directly in their face, almost brushing their goddamn eyelashes. I posted these pictures on Facebook and Instagram with the intention of just opening peoples eyes to the asshats of the financial district. Most of my posts were met with comments like “why the hell are you not asking them to move??” and “If i was there I would scream at them” In the second trimester of my pregnancy it wasn’t even about that. I was able and willing to stand all of the 20 minutes it would take me to ride to my office downtown.
In the third trimester though…things changed..
In the third trimester I started to notice how the train would come to sudden sharp stops and I would be close to being knocked off my feet, fearing for mine and my babies safety I decided to finally take advantage of those treasured disabled seats and ask these douchbags to move.
Much to my dismay, many still didn’t! I started sharing photos of the people who refused to move. Mostly because they “wouldn’t have anywhere to put their roller bag” I was straight up refused a seat at least 7 or 8 times after politely asking people if they could get up so I could sit.
Now I will say I was hit with some pretty harsh critics when I started posting photos of people on the train. I had several people go after me about “invisible illnesses” and how could I dare insist on a seat when I don’t know what these people may be going through. This is totally valid. I will say I mostly checked my surroundings before making assumptions that these people were total asshats. Many of them were carrying gym bags, wearing heels, holding bikes or those disgusting razor scooters. I was pretty confident 9 times out of 10 that the people refusing to get up were just lazy and entitled humans not caring about the world around them. Most of my judgments were confirmed by the refusals to move because it would somehow make life inconvenient for them.
One of my proudest moments was one morning when another pregnant woman got on bart and I made the young girl next to me move for her, even though she made it clear she had no intention to move. The pregnant lady was so thankful after herself not getting a seat for months. That day I felt like a warrior.
In my last week of work I was straight up bitter. I was so close to the finish line but at the same time so sick of the bullshit of working downtown. I was so ready to not have to run into the homeless people pooping on the sidewalks in the morning or “Scary Mary” who would circle our offices screaming at exactly 3pm every single day. I wouldn’t miss walking around the naked guy flipping a knife on the corner when I went to get my daily lunchtime salad or the bart escalator that had been broken for exactly 9 months…not one bit.
My last day of riding bart, I was excited and angry. I remember asking god for some kind of sign that me and my husband should move out of the bay area and this crowded city that does nothing for their homeless and mentally ill. I was contemplating this on the way to work when a homeless man entered my bart train and took a crap right on the seats across from me…..I will take that as a sign any day.