Riding Metro North. With Law & Order.

train-subway-motion-rails

Tuesday evening. Downtown Manhattan. I’m hailing a cab. Rich food swims in Chardonnay. Wind bursts chill the bones: Winter.

I flip on Waze with an eye out for a cab – 16 minutes to Grand Central.  The 8:36 train departs in 18 minutes.  Unlikely, but possible.

“Be great if I can catch the 8:36.” This is NYC Cabbie code – a much larger tip in it for you if you giddyap.  It’s the American Way: Proper incentives = desired behavior.  I buckle my seatbelt, grip the armrest and hope for the best.

“8:36?”

“Yes.”

He bolts through traffic – Rabbit with lock on the Carrot. Think bumper car or go cart sans contact, with the same weaving, bobbing, braking and jarring.

We arrive at the station at 8:36.  I run to the gate, hopeful for a train delay.  I watch the fading red tail lights down the tunnel, wheezing, trying to catch my breath. Damn!  Next train, 30 minutes.

I walk to the next gate, board the train, find a seat, and get comfortable. Chardonnay burns off. Fatigue rolls in, eyes are burning on four hours of sleep. I pop in my ear buds, turn on soft ambient music, lean my head against the window, and close my eyes. Just 10 minutes, please, just 10. 

The smartphone buzzes in my pocket, a text message. Let it go. Just let it go.

It’s Eric (Son, 22) home for Thanksgiving and having dinner with his Mom in the city.

“Dad, what gate? What train car are you in?”

A few minutes later I see them peering through the train car window, Eric beaming and flipping a thumbs up.  He smiles, we trade fist-bumps and they join me on the 3-seater – we roll North.  One wrong turn by my cabbie, one red light too many and here we are.  Not a bad trade, a 30 minute train delay, for a train ride north with family, wrapped in the soft holiday glow. Coincidence?

We exit the train. It’s 10 pm.

We cross the parking lot preparing to make the 1/4 mile walk home.

And there it is again.

Metal on metal, the crunch of car hitting car.

The driver, backing out of his parking spot, side swipes a parked car.  He stops at impact, and pauses, for seconds.

At this moment, Eric grabs his smartphone and starts tapping out the license plate number, whispering the six digits to himself, willing himself to be certain, to be precise.

The car then straightens up, backs out and races out of the parking lot, leaving a large hickey on the door panel of the car.

Eric calls 911, explains what happens, provides the plate number, and the description of car. He does not pause. He does not say: I don’t want to be hanging around a dark parking lot in the cold waiting for the cops to show up. He does not say I don’t want to get involved. He does NOT Pause.

The police arrive 10 minutes later, take our statement and ID.

We’re walking up the street within distance of lights on our front porch.

Eric looks over and says:

“Law and Order, Dad. Law and Order.”

100,000 course corrections and here it is.

My Son.

I turn away, heavy eyes watering, can’t show him too much.

 


Inspiration for post:

It was Roosevelt who said, in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.


Notes:

Comments

  1. Superb. Tell Eric I’m rasiing a glass to him tonight. Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your family David

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah go ahead and show him…he earned that pride..

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks to parents and their children like you and yours! This is what gives me hope for our future. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I replied to the origional post (I remembered it right away) and will double up on the comment…Good Job, dad. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done Eric and Mom and Dad. You are sending a wonderful man into this world and I am sure he has made you both proud. Let him see your tears David you both deserve the joy. Happy Thanksgiving to a beautiful family. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All in all a very favourable evening, David. Memories made and honoured. What could be better?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Preciousness…
    You just like to make people cry David, don’t you?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story and writing Mr K! Law and Order indeed. You should be proud. Driver running from his past. 4hrs sleep is not enough 😌🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are my favourite stories of yours David. Made my eye leak. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. David, one of my favorites! Loved each word. I’m glad you had/took the time to be there! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great story, thanks for sharing. Seems like you are a magnet for car accidents:..
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A masterful telling and a man child who elicits great pride…a two-fer! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, pal!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. i love the serendipity of the train ride and you were meant to see him as a grown man of action. why the whole thing happened as it did.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. David: If you don’t get onto writing a book I may have to come over there and sit on you till you get started. You write so well about real topics, we need to have more of it.
    And of course, Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family,

    Liked by 1 person

    • John, I am so grateful for your kindness – and this so appropriate coming to me on Thanksgiving Day – gratitude overwhelms me. And this coming from an author of what, 11 published books?…means so much to me. Some day John, some day.

      Like

  15. Impressive!
    A great photo – perfect in black and white.
    Greetings from the Rhine-Highland in germany

    Like

  16. I missed this part–
    How would you show him “too much@?
    Oh, yeah. Scorpio.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Do Deacs!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love it when we see the hard work of raising our children pay off!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Good kid. Somebody taught him well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The absolute best moments in life are given to us by our children. He is who he is because he has great parents. Thank you David for sharing such special moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. So very glad you used my image for your story as I’m not sure I’d have found your blog. I enjoyed riding along with you in that cab and on that train, and of course learning about your son and his goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

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