Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

November 14th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Commuting of the fittest

The shuttle driver who delivers us weary New Yorkers to the Edison train station was either new, or indifferent. Most of the drivers snake along back streets, avoiding the main, congested road. While the back way isn’t the fastest in the best case, it’s always fastest in the worst case, and the best case almost never happens during the evening rush.

But our driver last night just went direct. And we got snarled in traffic. The shuttles don’t have a large margin of error when it comes to the schedule, and at the rate we were creeping along, a car length at a time, it seemed pretty certain we would miss the train. That would mean thirty minutes standing on the platform. Thirty minutes I am kept from getting home.

Not good.

We were inching along the last stretch, where the road dips under the overpass where the tracks run. The station parking lot is still a good distance, but the pedestrian entrance to the tracks are steps on either side of the underpass.

I look at my watch. Three minutes.

I’m sitting at the door of the van. We’re sitting still. I look outside the window. There’s the sidewalk.

“That’s it. I’m not missing this train. I’m making a run for it.”

I open the door, and look into the van, to see if anyone else is going to do it. It’s not far, after all.

Impassive looks. Fine, suit yourselves. I close the door, and haul ass.

I make it up the stairs to the platform winded, as the train pulls in. As the train opens it’s door, and people board, I linger long enough to confirm what I thought. The van didn’t make it in time.

I’m still catching my breath as I take my seat, happy that sixty seconds of effort just got me home thirty minutes faster. Another gentle reminder that sometimes it’s best for me to keep my fate in my own hands.

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