Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Next Stop Is...


As I stepped off the bottom step into my subway station I noticed I was missing a train. It was literally discharging itself of passengers and shutting its doors. My first thought was "shit!" Which I uttered aloud. Then I saw the letter on the train. It was a bold face R in the middle of a once-bright-but-now-dingy dirty yellow circle. I couldn’t believe it. The R train had not been in service since Hurricane Sandy ripped through NYC leaving a flood of devastation and power outages in her wake.

Almost immediately following the R train was an M train. Another train I hadn't seen in a week. My initial reaction was one of relief at its emptiness. NYC had been so limited in its train service that for four days getting to know your fellow strap hangers was not an option; it was a given. Crowded trains were the only trains. Thank God there were crowded trains. In a City that thrives on mass transit anything was better than nothing. 

My train car had three riders including me. I cautiously sat down, prepared, as I had been for the last three days, to listen to the announcement for stops and service changes. 

Was there ever a more welcomed sound than the automated female voice of the train calling the stops? It was the sound of normalcy returning. She calmly and soothingly called the stops, including stations where service had been suspended for days.

It was but a small gift considering all the devastation that still exists, but sometimes the smallest gift can bring the most joy.