“The 8:19 train to Penn Station is operating on time.” I look at my watch. It’s 8:23am and I’m still on the Long Island Rail Road platform. Perhaps I’ve entered some sort of space-time continuum I’m not aware of. Oh, there’s the train!
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The light is reflecting off the side of the tracks; it’s definitely coming. Maybe I won’t be late for work after all. Breathe. Step to the right of the WATCH THE GAP sign, and try to slalom your way around the asshole who is obstructing the train entry by peeking through the opening doors and taking 30 seconds to decide whether this is the one he wants to take.
I’m inside. Victory—sort of. It smells like a bathroom. But it’s okay. Take out your book and look for a seat. Oh, there are no seats. This is what $252 a month gets you. Just stand—you sit at your desk all day anyway.
Okay, it’s 8:30. Let’s get going. “Dear passengers, given signal problems, this train is now local.” Ah, signal problems—the bane of any train rider’s existence, alongside derailments. Delays caused by earlier delays! Unidentified objects on tracks! Extreme weather conditions (read: moderate rain)! Police activity! You get points for consistency, LIRR.
And we’re stopped again. This time in the middle of the tunnel. Which means that my “I’ll be late! Stuck on the train!” email is also stuck due to my lack of cell service.
Start dreaming of a second breakfast to de-stress. Today, you’re treating yourself. A Dough doughnut, perhaps? A $4.50 coffee? How about a fluffy muffin?
We’re moving! Penn Station, I’ve arrived! Just an 18-minute delay. Ah, the smell of salvation: stale McDonald’s fries.