I’d smugly assumed that I was getting used to the subway system, three months into my life as a Brit Out Of Water. I’ve finally managed to get a grip on express trains, and I only get caught in turnstiles once a week on average now. Which is progress, let’s face it.
Today I took the C train home from 14th Street, with the intent of changing onto the F at Jay Street for the short final hop home. The train was emptier than normal as it stutteringly made its way downtown, halting a few minutes longer than normal at every stop. By the time we got to Chambers Street, there was only one fellow passenger left, and even she left in disgust after five minutes of inactivity on the platform.
Suddenly I found myself in glorious isolation, pleasantly alone to consider what I was going to cook for dinner or write on my blog. I even had time to take a photo of the carriage, empty but for a solitary unblemished red apple. I’d never seen an empty carriage before, after all.
It was only after fifteen minutes of waiting that I realised I was actually on an E train that had completed its journey, and was waiting for passengers to get on board for the return trip uptown. By the time I had realised, plenty of passengers had indeed got on board, each one looking at me with that vague mixture of disdain and disgust reserved exclusively for the pathetic trainspotter who has nothing to do but ride the MTA system all day.
If you’ve never seen somebody attempt to frame their facial features in such a way as to say “you know, I got on here quite a while ago to make my way uptown, but now I’ve remembered that I left the iron on at my home just down the road so I’d better get back there as soon as possible before my apartment burns down” then you missed a treat today, I can tell you.