June 2, 2006

Observed on the F train

Yesterday, while hanging on to a pole during the subway ride to work, I noticed a shiny-eyed young fellow in a business suit watching me with a rather animated expression on his face.

I am not, to place this event in context, of an appearance or personality that generally attracts the attention of men on trains. I have my charms, I think, but they are the subtle, quiet kind. I move through the world relatively unnoticed most of the time.

I glanced away from Mr. Bright Eyes, then back again. He looked away quickly. Caught!

A moment later, it happened again.

Hmm, I mused. Perhaps this is not such a bad hair day as I’d thought. Or maybe the Cymbalta has already added a mood-disorder-treatment-in-progress glow to my countenance.

Then I realized that the man wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at Nellie.

When I wear a dress, I usually stash my pump in a thigh pouch I got from Minimed, which has an elasticky band with an adjustable Velcro closure. But I have a few dresses that are cut such that I can conceal the pump in the side of my bra, under the strappy part that goes around the ribcage. It’s easy to pull out (in private) for dosing, and when I’m standing, sitting, or lying down, my arm covers the pump, rendering it almost invisible.

When I am hanging on to a subway pole high above my head, however, I appear to have an absurd rectangular attachment bulging under my clothing, inches to the right of my not-quite-so-bulging breasts. It was this protrusion that had caught the eye of my observer. He was trying to figure out what the hell it was.

Realizing this, I felt a little mortified at my vanity. Foggy, peculiar Violet has an admirer! Ahem. Not.

Some of you, I know, would have taken the opportunity to educate Mr. Bright Eyes as to the nature of Nellie. I’m not so bold. However, for the sake of pride, I did refrain from switching arms to conceal the pump. (Actually, the persons surrounding me were so closely packed in that I couldn’t switch arms, making it expedient to decide that I wouldn’t even if I could. So there, Mr. Bright Eyes.)

On the plus side, this small adventure made me realize how completely accustomed I’ve become to wearing the pump. I used to be very focused on concealing it from people to avoid just the sort of attention I received from my subway companion, but it’s so much less of a Thing now that, apparently, I’m able to forget it completely--at least on a train full of way too many humans and way too few seats. This may symbolize a form of progress. Or it may just be another example of what it’s like to be Foggy, Peculiar Violet, who also forgot to put on her medical ID bracelet yesterday and nearly took twice the correct insulin dose with her dinner due to misreading the nutritional info on a box...


  1. What fun to imagine what Mr. Bright Eyes thought it was :)

  2. Ooh, Violet, you're not nearly as vain as I am. I woulda been pissed that the guy was scoping out the machinery instead of ME.

    :) AmyT

  3. I don't know.

    To me, this "Foggy, Peculiar Violet" sounds a whole lot like "Wonderfully Clever Violet" -- describer of "a fantastical yet real world" about which I feel priviledged to read.

  4. I loved the cymbalta while I was on it. Coming off sucks, but life isn't perfect.

  5. There is no way I would have shouted across a crowded train, either, to educate as to the nature of my bra bulge...

    "Hey Mister! Hey, guy who is staring at my bra!"

    "Who, me?"

    "Yes. It's an insulin pump. Just so you know."

    ... Not sure how that would have gone over. But I'm sure he was admiring you, too. :)