Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Just Mind The Gap

Last week, a most horrendous turn of events led me to be ever more cautious in the wake of a coming subway. A woman, apparently in an effort to rescue the bag she had dropped down into the tracks, jumped down to retrieve it and was crushed by an oncoming train.

Now I generally play it super cool in the subway. I peer ever so cautiously down the track for oncoming trains, not out of fear but impatience. And I step behind the yellow caution line when the train barrels up. The one time I did happen to drop something into the track (my house key while I was living in Washington, DC), I notified the station staff and was able to pick it up on my way home that evening. It didn't even occur to me to jump down into the hole with the live third rail and active vermin.

So I'm amazed that anyone would put themselves at risk this way - apparently, according to some reports, merely to save her workout clothes and deodorant.

Not really worth it. I'm just saying.

I was mindful of this cautionary tale a few days later, though, when a hurried commuter ran past me as I was adjusting my iPhone, jettisoning it to the edge of the track just as a train came crashing through. With visions of crushed appendages dancing in my head, I stood still, completely at attention, waiting for the train to rumble by. For those few moments I was lost, disconnected from my phone, my music, my world. But I didn't want to make it permanent, so I played it safe, waiting until the train came to a complete stop to retrieve my blessed extension.

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