Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Commute

Second in a series of emails to friends in the style of short stories. 

Ugh. Faith. 

The commute, the commute. Why can't we have teleportation? I didn't see any signs indicating there was construction, but apparently it's implied that there's probably going to be at least one guy with a hammer on the tracks to fuck up my commute. 

The R train may or may not run. It might be on a schedule, but probably not. You'll wait for 20 minutes and get an N train that at first gives you hope but then you see is traveling via Whitehall so, no. You transfer at Atlantic because it makes the most sense to get either a D or a 4. The D is nowhere in sight so you hike over to the 4 platform. The 4 will be to you in 15 minutes. What you say? You have to wait another 15 minutes on a stinky rat-infested platform?! Can you go back to get the D? You'd think so, but the D came whilst you were hiking through the terminal so it's a lost cause now too. You wait it out. The 4 comes. It's packed. It's 5:10am and the 4 train is full of people who are mostly nodding off and taking up a lot of space. Except for the one guy who has dedicated this time to telling his friend his life story in loud broken Arabic-English. 

You're at Fulton Street and you only have 20 minutes to get to Grand Central. It's tight because at this time the 4 runs LOCAL. 

You had set your alarm for 3:30am. That seemed early. You hit snooze a couple of times—you were playing a game with the 3 alarms you set. You finally walked out of the apartment at 4:17am. That seems early enough. That gives an hour and a half to traverse what is normally a 37 minute commute. You think you might get there early and have the first coffee of the day. Now you're venting about the shitiness of the mta to a friend who already knows and is probably thinking "this is like when you talk about your dreams. Ugh." It's 5:28am and you're at motherfucking Spring Street. 
It's 5:29 and you're at Bleeker Street. That reminds you—Girl Meets World is on and takes place near this station. 
It's 5:30am and you're at Astor Place. 
As long as there are no delays you can make it. Oh no, you hope you didn't just jinx it. Fuck. Nobody better jump in front of the train. 
It's 5:31am and you're at Union Square and you hope for a second that for no reason the train will go express. It won't. 
23rd Street
28th Street
33rd Street

Teleportation would bypass these stops. And hopefully it wouldn't have construction. 

It's 5:38 when you arrive at Grand Central. You just made it. Now you make the coffee. 

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