The left side of my backside is numb from sitting beside a 300-pound woman whose bottom spreads onto my seat the way the tide sends tendrils of water into the nooks and crannies of a sea-level cave. I think that I'm actually sitting on her lap. I'm so dwarfed by her that I worry that she'll tilt me back and stick a bottle in my mouth.
Every few minutes, but with no discernible pattern or warning, she flicks the filmy fabric that covers her head and upper body. Flick. Flick. Flick. It lightly brushes my arms and face, making me itch.
There are no vacant seats. There is no escape.
Feet block the aisle leading to the on-board restroom, which boasts neither rest nor room and not even a working sink, much less toilet paper. Trying to use the facility is anything but facile; as one attempts to lower one's pants, one is batted about, slammed into the wall, threatened with tipping headlong into the reeking, bottomless toilet, ricocheted around like a marble spinning, churning, smashing along its frenzied zigzag through a pinball machine maze. In order to avoid this experience, I refuse all liquids for hours before and during my trip. So now I'm head-achy, grouchy and nauseous. And I have to use the foul WC, anyway. I might never make it out. If I do, I might die of dehydration.
Maybe I should hope for a bottle, after all!