Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Lurking Dangers of the Subway

Yesterday, as Karen and I were hurrying down the steps into the subway to catch the express train to downtown that was just starting to pull into the station, she either caught her heel in the hem of her pants or hit a little bump on one of the stairs and was suddenly sprawled in the middle of the stairway with one hand hanging on to the railing and both of her shoes knocked off her feet and out of her reach. As the people below and above us briefly halted their forward momentum so that we could gather ourselves together, Karen quickly righted herself as I grabbed her shoes and we skittered into a very crowded subway car. But this only meant we were narrowly averting one danger to encounter another. For with Karen quickly slipping on her shoes, it was too late for us to spy a corner where we could find a safety bar to hold onto. With both us stranded in the middle of the subway car, I reached for the low ceiling and tried to hold my hands in place there, as Karen grasped me around the waist to keep herself stable. It was not the sort of arrangement suitable for a trip to Washingon Heights, but it got us safely to 42nd Street when the car emptied out just a bit. The rest of the trip was uneventful, Karen to 14th Street, me to Chambers and then onto the Ferry, but it certainly got our adrenaline running.

You see, the subway is no place for the faint of heart. There are so many lurking dangers - cracks in the pavement, bumps on the stairs, turnstiles that aren't large enough for those bags of groceries you just bought, gaps between the station platforms and the entrance to the cars, rats abounding, especially late at night when the people are scarce and you think you're safe. Scariest of all perhaps are the amateur performers who are everywhere underground looking for a handout, some of whom are talented, but this time of year you are as likely to run into someone singing Silent Night off key as you are a bongo player with rhythm. So if you dare to descend into the subway, stay alert. There is no telling when something dangerous might come your way. Look out! Here comes somebody now running right at you because he's late for an appointment. Get out of the way before it's too late!!

No comments:

Post a Comment