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Don't Surf in the Subway

I was walking along the edge of the N/R platform yesterday afternoon. It’s not my usual subway, but I had to take a detour home to get my cable modem replaced.

Anyway, while at the way-too-crowded station, I was working my way down the platform, between the yellow line and the tracks, and had this vivid image of ending up on the tracks (either by getting pushed or falling, trying to avoid knocking into the hordes of passengers waiting for the next downtown-bound local).

Scary. Why on earth would I have such a thought? And, more importantly, what would I do if that happened? My first thought was panic, and yell for someone to help pull me out before the train came. But then what if we both fell in? I then rationally thought, “Well Bob, if a train’s coming, it’ll stop at the station. Just run down the track to avoid getting run over. Someone will see you, and they’ll tell the conductor not to start up again until you’re out of the way.”

It’s good to have an emergency plan.

Got to the Cable Express without incident, which, btw, is perhaps more convenient than waiting for a house call but a far cry from “express.” I did, however, get a smart new modem at no charge. Wheeeee.

Walking westward down 23rd Street, which was also too crowded, I gave L. a call at home to see if he wanted some treats from Whole Foods. Unlike me to be so thoughtful, but I was going to be in the neighborhood. Got the machine. Odd, he’s usually home by now, on the bed and unwinding with a goblet of Merlot and a Lifetime movie.

When I got home, about 7:30, he had just gotten in himself. He’d been stuck on the C train (the one I usually take) for the past couple hours. Trains were delayed to “an ill passenger.” I hate being stuck underground on the train. It's one of my few true New York anxieties. I fear the panic, the potential mass hysteria, the helplessness.

This morning’s news brought it all to light. The passenger wasn't ill ... the boy was dead. Way dead. What was he thinking? While he very well win a Darwin Award, I can't help being sad that he was so very, very stupid, despite reports of his being "extremely smart."

Weird that it happened just about the same time I was thinking about how not to get run over by a train.

I took a cab to work this morning. While there's still one to take.