Monday, March 2, 2009

Briefly Reported

7:48pm While awaiting the downtown F on the 34th st platform, the D train arrives and the conductor and I are left face to face when the train comes to a halt. The PA reports the trains are running differently, so I ask him directly if this one is running like an F.




I clear my throat and ask again to make sure F trains are still running on this track. His gaze fixes somewhere over my shoulder and he makes no reply.

I turn to the nice-looking Asian lady (with large teeth) standing next to me and say, "That's just disrespectful!"

Her earnest nod is impossible to misinterpret. The conductor stares on, unblinking.

I ask him, "Are the F trains running?" and am met with the most profound silence, this time with eye contact. He closes the doors.

The Asian lady!

"Hey, I want to get on the train!"  her strained voice, her slight form wedged between the closing doors.

The conductor is looking at me and cooly allowing the train to start. I say,

"Look, man! She's stuck!" and she cries again, teeth looking anguished and very large, "I want to get on the train!"

She is divided exactly in half by the doors and her reflection in the windows makes a strange whole of her. She shouts again at the conductor.

I say nearly in his mouth, "You are amazing," and the man is able to free the Asian lady, accelerate, and ask me "What'd you say?" all in the same instant.

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