I walk briskly down the hill toward the main street. It’s still dark out. I know “they”- the ever-accurate weather people- said it would be a warm day today; however, this morning is anything but. I button the top button of my jacket. I can always take it off and wrap it around my waist if it gets warm later on.
I dodge those walking in front of me, obstructing my way. Bob to the left and weave on the right; side shuffle past the old woman passing out Jesus flyers and hurry around the group of school kids debating who has better tits- Kardashian or Simpson.
I have to make this train. What else can I do? Jump on the tracks and hoof it to work? Battling giant fucking rats? No. I’ll wait, but it’ll throw my whole day off. I’ll be late getting into work, late starting my work, late to lunch and ultimately late to leave. It’s all downhill if I don’t make this train. All day long I’ll have to say “I missed my train this morning” when something goes wrong. Break the copy machine… again? “Sorry, missed my train this morning.” Knock over a cubicle divider while trying to break my record for number of chair spins in a minute? “Huff, I missed my train this morning.” Staple Amanda’s thumb to the “Work Together!” board? “It’s because I missed my train this morning!” No. Not me, not today. I will make this train. Mind over matter, left in front of right.
I finally make it to the station and just as I’m walking up the steps, I hear it approach. The signal goes off, “BEEP BEEP BEEP.” It warns the people on the platform to step back; the people sitting on the benches to step forward; and the people almost there to move their asses. I’m a member of the latter group. That high-pitched signal can be the beginning of a great day or a shitty one. I burst into an all-out run up the stairway that leads to the platform. Usually I don’t do this, to avoid looking stupid if I miss the train, but today is different. I still have a flight of steps and a few footsteps between me and the train doors. I swipe my card. “GO” appears on the tiny screen. Thank God.
My all-time record for Metrocard swiping is eight times. The day I broke my record, I stood there, at the rejecting turnstile, and swiped my card over and over again until it deemed me adequate to pass. I could hear the sucking teeth of the people behind me, but this was a record I was breaking. I’m sure they understood the situation.