Sometimes the trains here, particularly the train that I rely on just do not run according to anyone’s sense of rhyme or reason. My train runs through Brooklyn, and unlike the web of other trains running in other places, is basically the only train in Brooklyn worth anything. All of the hip yuppies that populate the place live on one side of the park, the side closest to Manhattan ( Prospect Park— like central park only smaller. And in Brooklyn.) All of the traditional brooklynite workers live on the other side of the park. Woody Allen’s type of Brooklyn family lives where I live, south of the park, on the same train line as the hip yuppie marrieds. That means me, the hipsters, the marrieds, and the future eccentric film directing icons all depend on one train line to get us into Manhattan and back. You can see why this might be a bit of a hassle at times. So, entirely inexplicably, the train I was on today decided to skip a few stops—but not to worry, the conductor very loudly informed us, another ‘F’ train was right behind who WOULDN’T be skipping stops—making the argument that the train I happened to be on was skipping stops due to construction entirely invalid. The train skips two stops total; mine included—they refer to this as running express—quite the opposite if you ask me, but clearly no one ever does. Usually when this happens, I just get off at the stop after my stop and walk. Today, and I am not entirely sure why, I got off at the stop before my stop to wait for the next train. Maybe I wanted to see if it was true? Or perhaps ponder what type of construction would cause one train to skip my stop but the one right behind it no to? As the next train pulled up alongside the platform, I stood to greet it. When I looked inside of the train I saw several heads, one of which was propped up on a hand attached to a wrist wearing a very distinctive chunky watch. Further more, I noticed that the head had a shiny black cap of a hairstyle. This head and this wrist belonged to no one other than my admirer from the restaurant. I balked, like a donkey, looked around for an escape, decided I was being an idiot, and that I could be mistaken, and that I only had one stop to go and if it WAS indeed my admirer, his back was to the door and he wouldn’t see/ recognize me, as I was hooded. (usually I am—I’ve become quite the hoodie connoisseur.) Right, all of this in the 22 seconds it takes to step on the train. And, though it is probably not necessary to point out the incredulity of this coincidence, I have to do it. If this was indeed my estranged admirer, this marked about 4 months since I had spoken to him. In those 4 months, he tried to contact me via instant messenger which I didn’t respond to. The last time he tried to im me was about a week ago when he told me he was moving to
Spain within the next couple of weeks. Either because I am heartless, a coward, shy, or not to be bothered, I didn’t respond to this, even though I wanted to. So I thought I would never see him again and though happy for his future wasn’t really bothered by it. But today, Sunday, May 06, 2007, I did something out of character, twice, in fact, usually I take a different train home entirely and walk pretty far to get home (the exercise, I needs it!). But because the paper store was closing in soho, and I needed ridiculously expensive hand-made paper for no good reason I went there and took this train essentially accidentally, and instead of walking the extra stop, which I was planning to do anyways, I got off and waited. Out of all of the interrupted travel plans, all of the trains and all of the stations and all of the cars he could have been on today, he was on THAT one. WHAT does that MEAN? At this point, I am inclined to go against my more fatalist instincts and just subscribe to chaos theory—everything is by chance. So to make a short story longer, I almost made it to my stop unnoticed, when I heard my name. Expecting this to happen, I don’t feel that I feigned the appropriate amount of surprise, so I tried to make up for it with false enthusiasm, immediately followed by even falser confusion when he said, Courtney, I am moving to Barcelona next week! Me: YOU ARE?!!!! Oh, this is my stop—completely cutting him off in miring in the coincidence, how happy he was that he could say goodbye. Me: Good luck! And she’s off. Entire encounter clocked at under 5 minutes.
Am I terrible?