Thursday, February 28, 2008

How I Dodged Imminent Death During My Morning Commute: A Truly Existential Moment

The other morning I was on my usual 4 train ride into work, and nothing seemed amiss.

The regular degenerates mixed with Wall Streeters surrounded me, all with their standard looks of boredom/disgust/indifference. The guy with the Bible got on at Nevins, reminding everyone that we're all going to die one day. The kid with the M&M's tried to get me to spend $3 bucks on a bag of know, the usual suspects.

As we pulled out of the Brooklyn Bridge stop, the train slowed, then jolted, hard. Hard enough to make the indifferent Wall Streeters gasp into their New York Times. The only person that didn't move was the woman slumped over next to me, holding a wheezing baby in her arms.

We sat for what seemed an eternity, with the only sound being the generic announcement, "There is a train crossing in front of us, we will be moving shortly" But there were no trains. Eerily, there was nothing at all.

After 10 minutes or so we were told by a barely comprehensible female MTA employee that there was a power outage on the tracks and we would be stuck indefinitely until it was fixed.

Great. I was already a trillion hours late for work due to a rough night prior, and people were starting to squirm. We were in the tunnel, with no way of escape, and I was starting to think I was in the sequel to Cloverfield, waiting for a giant monster to come out of nowhere,swoop up the train and hurl it into the East River.

The thing that was the most annoying was how nobody would give us updates. We literally sat in wonder for half an hour, with no one getting back on the loudspeaker to tell us much of anything...people around me started to panic. Which made me panic. Eventually, someone announced that they would be letting us off the train through the back car. WTF? Were we going to crawl through the tunnel to civilization? Again, fucking Cloverfield entered my mind. I was wearing a cute dress and fuck me boots and I did not want to be crawling around with the rats in the subway tunnel. No way.

We all stood up, waiting to walk through the cars as they had announced, and like assholes, waited for what seemed like hours. As we stood, the train began to move slightly, and then jolted yet again, tumbling us all on top of each other like fallen soldiers in battle. Now we were all getting pissed. Either let us off, or tell us what's going on, or pass out some xanax 'cause the indifferent Wall Streeters are starting to show signs of life, and it ain't pretty.

An MTA guy suddenly appeared and walked right through the car, ignoring pleas for help and information. He literally walked straight ahead, didn't flinch or look at any of us as he trudged right through, where the fuck he was going I have no idea.

One woman started to scream "There's something wrong. There's something really WRONG."

This is when i started to freak.

I sat there, thinking to myself, what if the train blows up right now? Have I done everything I wanted to do in life? I have no cell service, I can't even call people and tell them I love them. Should I die, would anyone know that I was here on this train? How would they find me?

I felt the tears welling, and then the train began to move. No jerking and jolting, just went straight ahead, and as if nothing happened, continued on to Union Square, then Grand Central. No explanation, no apology, no remorse.

Why I expected anything less, I have no idea.

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