Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pivotal Moment 2

So something crazy happened the other day that I would define as a pivotal moment.

Take a look at this subway map of the city.

It is the end of the day. The time is around 6pm. I am finishing a tutoring session which takes place on West 23rd, between 5th and 6th aves. I have to walk two long blocks to the 1 train going downtown (on the red line). Before i reach it though, I stop at a food market to pick up a few items which most likely consist of soup, bread, and a small pastry dessert. Possibly a bar of chocolate.

Meanwhile, at roughly the same time, over on the upper east side on East 81st street and York ave, (right near the edge of the east river) Sean leaves work and makes his way to the subway which is at 77th and Lexington (on the green line). He gets on a 6 train going downtown. He gets off the 6 at 42nd street and switches to a 4 or 5 train going the same direction.

Meanwhile, I catch a 1 train and i leave 23rd street, stop at 18th street, and get off at 14th street. I cross the platform and wait for a 2 or 3 train going downtown.

The 4/5 trains are express trains and new, and therefore pretty fast. They skip stops that a local train (the 6, on that line, for example) would stop at. From 49th street, Sean's 4/5 train stops at 14th street, then Brooklyn Bridge, then Fulton, etc.

Over on 14th street, I get on a 2 or 3 train, sit down with my food items, and pull out my book. The 2/3 train is express but changes and stops at local stops the closer i get to brooklyn. Chambers, Park Place, Fulton, Wall Street. My train keeps going and it crosses over into Brooklyn. Clark Street, then Borough Hall, then Hoyt, Nevins, Atlantic Ave, and Bergen, which is my final destination at which point i will get off and emerge from the underground.

Sean's train, meanwhile, is coasting through, hitting Bowling Green which is the last stop on the manhattan side, and crosses under the water to the Brooklyn side, hitting Borough Hall, Nevins, Atlantic Ave, etc. But to get home he must get off at Nevins and cross the platform to wait for a 2 or 3 train, which he does. He's standing for a few minutes, waiting, when a 2 or 3 train approaches.

Meanwhile, my train is hitting all the local stops in lower Manhattan and into Brooklyn. Clark, Borough Hall, Hoyt. My train stops at Nevins and I shift in my seat and continue reading my book, knowing i'll have to put it away in 2 stops.

The train leaves Nevins, hits Atlantic, and finally, Bergen. My position in the train is such that my doors open right to the exit of the station. I'm one of the first off the train and out of the subway. I get off the train with a big crowd of people (it's rush hour) and climb the stairs to the outside. I walk to the street facing me, having to cross it, but the red hand is up. I ponder crossing the adjacent street (to me) and glance at my watch. I wonder where Sean is in his travels. Then i think: What if? I suddenly turn around to the crowd of commuters climbing from the stairs and just as i do, i catch a glimpse of a familiar gray coat bursting out and immediately turning to the left to cross that adjacent street.

"Sean!" I yell. It was him! We were on the same train! :D We then run to the bus stop and climb on the bus which basically takes us right to our door. I love to think about our trains' travels, the time it takes to stop at each stop and allow passengers on and off, any stalls that may have occurred, and that exact moment where the train I had gotten on way back on 14th street was the same train Sean had to wait for at Nevins, two stops from home, in Brooklyn, after switching from the 6 to a 4/5, then a 4/5 to a 2/3. I feel like the Cosmos of Fun came together for me that night making it a pivotal moment. And, i know even more what it's like to be Gwyneth Paltrow, having experienced my own pivotal moment with sliding doors.

2 comments:

Sean said...

As a witness and delighted participant in this event, let me just say that it was pivotal for me too. And you didn't even mention that such an event can never be planned, since all cell phone etc. communication is impossible while riding the train. Only higher forces in the C.O.F. (Cosmos of Fun) can arrange this.

The World Is My Playground said...

wow - that is a very incredible occurance indeed!!! very hollywood blockbuster-esque