Riding Metro-North. Delayed, but it could (always) be worse.

Wednesday morning. 5:46 a.m. I step out, lock the door and step it to the station.

8 minutes to the 5:54 am train to Grand Central. A six minute walk. Tight.

I’m a few hundred feet away and the overhead speaker signals a five to ten minute delay. Naturally.

  • 6:00 a.m. No sign of the train.
  • 6:10 a.m. I set my bag down. No sign of train. Other commuters stir impatiently.
  • 6:15 a.m. No sign of train.  A second wave of commuters stack up on the platform waiting for the 6:16 am. train.
  • 6:25 a.m. No train.  Announcement over the speaker announces further delays due to “police activity.” I check Twitter for a Metro-North update. 10-15 minute delays, my a**.  I keep on reading…and the edge comes off. Slip and fall? Jumper? Heart attack?

  • 6:35 a.m. Third wave of commuters pour in for the 6:38 am train stacking up in wait behind the 5:54 am and 6:16 am commuters.  Murmurs escalate to grumbling.
  • 6:40 a.m. I check the Uber app. It’s well beyond time to evaluate Plan B options.  No. No. No. I get the sunk cost concept but I’ve waited this long, how much longer can it be?
  • 6:45 a.m. Announcement indicates that the train is 5 minutes away. Jumper? Slip and Fall? Trip in gap? Heart attack? Rushed to emergency? Struck by train. Struck by a 150,000 pound train car or momentum from 1,500,000 pounds from ten train cars. Died at impact?
  • 6:50 a.m. Wave 4 begins to stream in. The 6:54 commuters begin to stack up behind the commuters for the three previous trains.  Others begin to take Plan B options and leave the platform.
  • 6:55 a.m. Train pulls up.  As the cars pass by, anxious commuters peer through the windows to see commuters shoulder to shoulder in the aisles and the vestibules.  Conductor asks us to wait for the next train.  Some, impatient, push through the crowd and find space. Claustrophobic. Space invasion. One hour stand. Recipe for panic attack. No chance. I wait.
  • 7:00 a.m. 2nd train pulls up. Standing room only again, I squeeze in and carve out space in the vestibule.

I flip open my smartphone and search for a follow-up story on the Fairfield “accident.”

Slip and Fall? Jumper? Heart attack?

Read on.


Notes:

Comments

  1. OMG…
    Now that we know which highschool layla will be going to it seems that there is no avoiding the train somedays. And I just talked and talked for an hour about how cautious she has to be. I was crying and they all laughed at me.
    Now the I read this, No Train.
    They can laugh all they want.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad for that person whose life ended (for whatever reason). Inconvenient for a lot of people, but they will live another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. very sad for the victim. inconvenient for everyone else. agree with response above.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am generalizing when I say suicide is the easy way out – especially in cases like these. And when they use a method such as this one which affects so many others, it is even more maddening and makes it difficult to feel any sympathy for them. My nephew was hurt in a bus accident – a young 19-year-old man drove his car headlong into the bus because his girlfriend dumped him. My nephew, who happens to be dysphasic asked so innocently: Why would a person put other people at risk if he wants to kill himself? Why didn’t he aim for a tree instead?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your writing, and I can’t hit the ‘like’ button without qualification. A life lost – somehow made worse by his/her anonymity – realities crammed together as commuters waiting for a delayed train..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So sad and tragic. His action sent out a wave of grief and loss for many others. The list of people for whom we keep in our hearts and prayers never gets shorter…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let me just go ahead and be the first one to admit I feel a certain sense of justice.

    Like

  9. My reaction: whatever is going on in our lives must be better than being hit by a train! Then, reading the news report, I see it as a metaphor for all of us on this planet…we often have too wait while others share their experiences…whether pain or exultation. He wanted connection…bizarre as it may sound. Love your writing and sharing, David! We enjoy sharing your experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Choices. Sliding doors. Ripple affect. Always sad to hear. ☀️

    Liked by 1 person

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