March 4, 2008

The F-unny train

Sometimes you just have to write something down. Lots of strange things happen to me in New York City. I don't write them down most days. I just shake my head and walk on.

But tonight after screening a new doc, "Needle through a Brick" on the anticipated demise of traditional Chinese Kung Fu, I faced an unlikely ride home.

I took the F train, which I am getting to know very well. I hopped aboard at 23rd Street and was internally laughing--because you never laugh outwardly on the subway-o-serious--at the train operator. He was having difficulty saying one of the most common sentences in New York: "Stand clear of the closing doors." And I understand that he was probably distracted--maybe he wanted to say it with flair or he just had gummy bears on the brain. Nevertheless, I was laughing internally. Sometimes you can't help these things.

But anyway, I marked it on the next two stops that he was having issues with the same statement. The next time he said, "Stand clear of the cl---clos--clo" and didn't really finish. The doors just snapped shut. And I was thinking how funny it would be if some person were actually waiting on that statement and were shut in the doors and what an amazing case it would be to have a separate torso and legs person suing MTA, which is already supposedly hurting for money.

But as I was musing, I realized that my stop was coming up. Jay Street/Borough Hall. Great. It was a long day and I needed a cold chocolate milk from my fridge. I stood up, thinking about my chocolaty treat, and sauntered with the uneasy ease of a seasoned train rider to the door. And then my train operator didn't say anything. And we waited. Nothing happened. And then he said it with perfect ease: "Stand clear of the closing doors."

But they never opened. And he started up the train again. And we were headed to Bergen Street. I will spare you the fury of my fellow passengers at the next stop, which required a transfer. They lambasted our lackadaisical driver. I swear the poor man was probably tearing up behind his tinted goggles.

However, when we got to the other uptown side, they weren't charged, as they'd feared, by the kind MTA employee at the booth.

As I hopped on to Jay Street/Borough Hall for the second time in one evening, I laughed to myself--as usual. The city is loud and I am quiet. And it seems, if you take it in stride and learn to laugh--even when you're tired--life is a little simpler and the supposed inconvenience a little easier to take.

Oh, and I did get my chocolate milk. Sweeter and colder than it would have been a few minutes sooner.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at March 4, 2008 11:40 PM | TrackBack
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