I’m always on the wrong train. If there’s a choice between taking an express or local train, you should take the express, right? Yet somehow, when I do it, my express train gets me there after the local. If there’s a stalled train on the tracks, I’ll be in the train behind it, stuck in a tunnel. If the doors are closing, I’ll be the one left right outside of them because someone was blocking me from getting there.
And while you could argue that most of these things are a result of either regular human luck or the MTA, I’d argue that my luck is worse than anything the MTA can throw at me.
Until yesterday. Yesterday, when the train stopped at the first station in Queens and sat there for 7 minutes, I wasn’t annoyed or frustrated or angry. Because yesterday there was a stalled train somewhere in Astoria and they weren’t allowing any other trains to come into Queens after my train. My train was the last one. The train I was on was the last one allowed to take passengers to the stop I needed to get to.
I still can’t quite get over the shock of being on that train. But what I also realize is that I only thought it was the right train. What if, had I been 5 minutes later to the platform and ended up on the train right after it, my fellow riders would have started a conversation about how they really wanted to pay someone to write kind of crazy but also awesome things for them, and I would have been there to take them up on the offer?
It’s just–nearly 7 years after first arriving in New York, I’m coming to terms with the fact that there is no “right” train. Everyone’s on the train they’re on, and we’re all heading in the direction we’re heading, and the only real choice we have in the matter is whether to see that journey as the one we’re meant to be on.
So I wasn’t really on the right train yesterday.
(But anyone who’s spent any amount of time with the MTA can see that I totally was.)