Thursday, March 19, 2009

The NYC Subway Story

So there we are on the subway in New York City, me & Aunt Martha. It was only around 7pm, but it felt late because we were probably stuffed with pizza and bialys and in a time warp from going to a Broadway show in the middle of the day. We were both zoned out as we whooshed along underground.

I remember that I was staring at the sign above the subway doors that read "do not block doors" with a stick person shown stuck between the subway doors. I was fascinated by the sign because it reminded me of the gypsy girl in Paris that tried to blatantly steal Melissa's wallet -- and by blatantly I mean she reached her little gypsy arm into Melissa's purse and rummaged around in there as we boarded the Metro. After Melissa gave her a well deserved right hook, the gypsy girl squared off in the open doorway and stood there like a champ while the doors slammed her tiny little thieving body over and over again, until finally she smirked a final good-bye and stepped backwards onto the Metro platform as the train and its awe-struck gaping-mouthed American passengers rolled away into the Null Set. (Shout out to my Null Set peeps!)

But this story isn't about my love/hate relationship with creepy (yet fascinating!) gypsy girls, but about an entirely less fascinating, yet thoroughly hilarious mishap on the above mentioned NYC subway.

So. There I was, studying the "do not block doors" sign on the subway. Aunt Martha was sitting next to me, probably singing "I want to be a ProduCER!" in her head, or contemplating the future of the dewey decimal system, when a voice in the background finally registered in my gypsy-infested head. They were announcing our stop! The next 3 seconds were the longest 3 seconds of my life, and I swear it happened in slow motion. I was smart enough to say "This is our stop!" but not quick enough to move. Aunt Martha, on the other hand, WAS quick enough, and right out the doors she went. I came lumbering up behind her, just as the subway doors were shutting. Completely forgetting about the warning to "not block doors", I casually stuck my hand in the vice of the subway doors, thinking they would magically reopen like they were the forgiving elevator doors of a luxury hotel. No such luck. So then I tried prying them open. I'm talking superhero-pose, double-palm-grip, biceps-burning prying them open. But alas, I was no match for the doors, so I gave up and let the doors slam. While all of this grunting and prying is going on inside the train, Aunt Martha is standing 1 foot away on the platform, looking in at me through the glass doors, head slightly cocked as if she doesn't understand what I'm doing inside the train, when clearly I should be outside the train with her. The expression on my face, she tells me later through hysterical fits of laughter, is one of sheer disbelief coupled with fear and confusion. We hold these gazes at each other until the train starts rolling away, at which point I see the humor in the situation and give her a light-hearted wave and a shrug.

I thought the worst was over, until I turned around and realized there were about 20 stone-faced New Yorkers in the subway car who could not have missed that display of desperation. Now I had to sit quietly amongst them and feign nonchalance until the next stop. Then through the magic of cell phones and the tourist friendly grid layout of the city, Aunt Martha and I reconnected above ground and gleefully peed our pants all the way to the hotel room, and we're still laughing about it to this day.

1 Comments:

At March 23, 2009 at 6:12 PM, Anonymous Jane said...

I still love this story!

 

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