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"There is a delay on the Bronx Bound D., as in David, trains. For alternative services, please use ..."
The conductor's voice (which sounded remarkably like Popeye-the-Sailor-Man on Novocain) trailed off into the normal cacophony of a New York City subway. I sat on the ground - an unremarkable teenage girl in jeans and a red sweater with pigtails - frantically finishing my math homework. I was going to be on time for class for the first time that week, and all I had to do was finish the homework on the train.
"Problem 15) Sin 2x= ..." My thoughts were abruptly shattered when the conductor began to speak again.
"There is a delay on the Bronx Bound A, as in alligator, B, as in Braveheart, and C, as in Carrot, trains. For alternative services, please use the Bronx Bound D, as in David, train service.
The announcement was over. I went back to my work.
"Problem 15) Sin 2x=1." Suddenly I sat up. The conductor. Hadn't she just said the A, B, and C trains were delayed, and to please use the D train? And hadn't she said only moments before that the D train was delayed?
As if to reiterate what I'd just realized, the conductor began to speak again.
"There is a delay in the Bronx Bound D, as in David, trains, due to police investigation. For alternative services, please use the Bronx Bound A, as in alligator, B, as in Braveheart, and C, as in Carrot, trains."
The reasons kept changing the longer I sat there. Someone pulled the emergency brake, someone needed medical assistance, the conductor had died and we are holding his funeral on the tracks ... etc., etc., etc. I stopped listening after awhile and let the words mingle in my head. All I could hope was that I'd get to school in time for math. I'd finished the homework.
"There is a Bronx Bound D train entering the station. I repeat, there is a Bronx Bound D train entering the station." The conductor sounded relieved that at least there was one train coming, and the people began to look not as grim as the lights of the train lit up the tunnel, and turned into the station. As for me, I managed to untangle myself from the floor where I'd eventually ended up collapsing from boredom. When I got to my feet, I glimpsed the clock. Two hours had passed.
Two hours. Two long hours.
It figures, I thought, as the train crept its way up to school. The morning I get up and out of bed on time, is the morning the trains are delayed. And no one will believe it wasn't my fault this time, either.
Sigh. Such is the irony of life. 1