09 March 2007

nothing bonds new yorkers like a crisis

coming home from work today on the G train, my train suddenly stopped in the station and i heard a cluster of voices, rising. i pulled my headphones out of my ears (sometimes, you don't want to listen to your ipod) to see what was going on. the train operator was leaning out the window and i heard someone say, "someone has a bomb on the train."

"what?" i got up, and went to a middle-aged guy standing by the door in a grey sweater with an open leather jacket. "what? did he say a bomb?"

"a bong?" someone asked.

"oh, a bong."

"no, a bomb. not a bong--" gesturing like he is holding a bong--"a bomb. b-o-m-b."

"shit! should we--evacuate?"

at this point, the train conductor leaves the train and begins walking. "someone in the last car says he has a bomb. a disorderly passenger. not sure..." the conductor says, walking towards the last car that may or may not have a disorderly passenger with a bomb. people start leaving.

"shit..." a twentysomething woman with lovely brown hair and i exit the train and begin walking up the stairs. "i didn't want to die today," she tells me.

"me neither..."

"i don't feel like i'm going to die," she says.

i don't know what i feel but i know i'm scared.

"oh the police," she says, pointing at the precinct inside the station that i usually ignore. "do you think they know?"

"i don't know," i respond, "but i'll tell them." i walk towards the precinct, which, incidentally, is in the direction that the last car that may or may not contain the disorderly passenger with a bomb. it's below me, but in the same direction.

inside, two police officers are talking. "sorry to interrupt, but i think someone might have a bomb on the train," i blurt.

"oh, don't worry," another police officer tells me, smoothing her hair. "there's cops on the platform."

um, okay. so it's safe?

"what do you think?" the girl with the lovely brown hair asks me. she really is quite pretty, and her eyes are frightened, like mine probably reveal.

"they said there's cops on the platform...so maybe it's safe?"


we walk towards the stairs and go down them. we see the train operator in the front again.

"is it okay?" we ask him.

"yeah, the cops are getting him."

people are watching the cops through the television on the platform, but i can't see what is going on. a minute or so later, the train departs.

we start chatting--about how we're so relieved, what craziness people can be--all bonded by a crisis. while i don't like scary things like threats to my life, i always like the way people become so friendly in new york

1 comment:

V said...

I'm glad you survived the bomb scare, YIKES!!!!

I love New Yorkers!! Every time I've visited you I've been struck by how friendly people are, so unlike the stereotypes non-New Yorkers have. We walk by your pizza place and the guys inside wave and yell hello. I'm wandering the Whitney while you're at Cheerleading practice and get into random conversations with fellow art lovers.

In contrast, I don't find Buffalo quite as friendly, although I love this city, I do. Many people I say hello to on the street seem surprised that I do; they seem happy, but surprised. Although I love most of the people who work at the library, I love all of the people who work at my PO and credit union, they're all very friendly. And most of my bartenders and bouncers, of course, ha ha. But, your random person on the street is not quite as friendly as the random New Yorkers on the street that I've encountered.