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Your New Commute: A Dramatic Account

What a great way to start your brand-new commute, South Slopers: with a great big ice storm (or, “wintry mix” as the news calls it)!  Aren’t you excited? 

If you’re anything like me, all of these terrible subway changes have ruined your life forever because you're dramatic and you have no other real problems in your life, so you have to fixate on things that are just moderately annoying and not terribly bad.  How's THAT for self-awareness?

SO: if you're a jerk like me with white people problems, here is a dramatic account of what your life is going to be like for the forseeable future...

PS: Are subway problems considered white people problems?  Because we ARE talking about public transit, right?

Friday morning, 8:30AM:

You know that this is IT.  This is the LAST DAY you will be able to start your morning commute at the 15th Street-Prospect Park subway station. 

You liked this station because it was rarely populated and it was exactly one block from your apartment.  No more.  You grab a pamphlet from an MTA worker, letting you know the full plan for the Culver-Something-Something-Viaduct Something-Something. 

Weep as the pamphlet confirms your fears: when this bullshit is done with in May, they gonna turn right around and shut down the Brooklyn-bound side of this station until 2012. 

Your life: ruined until 2012. 

Say goodbye to all of those residual (and STUPID) feelings you had from New Year’s when you silently told yourself that THIS YEAR was going to be YOUR YEAR.  It’s NOT.  And it never will be.  You know this now. 

Friday night, 6PM:

Stay hidden in your apartment.  You can’t go out drinking because if you spend $700 in the bar like you usually do, PLUS have to pay for a cab home because you are NOT putting up with the shuttlebus bonanza that’s currently happening, you will not have money to buy groceries this week.

Saturday, 3PM:

Text your dinner party guests and hint to them that “you’ve heard” there might be “something wrong with the trains” and that they should “check it out” before they leave.  This will be your tactic for the next 5 months, as you try to trick people into coming to see you.  You know that this charade will probably only work one time per friend, so you vow to make this visit count. 

Answer frantic texts from your dinner party guests as they want to know “what the fuck is a shuttlebus” (these friends live in Manhattan, of course) and can they take the R train instead?  “Funny story,” you text.  “R trains aren’t running this weekend, or for the following two weekends LOL.”  You wonder if they will ever show up, and regret buying so much wine.

Saturday, 7PM:

Your dinner party guests arrive, saying that they took the N to the 4th Avenue stop and walked in the FREEZING COLD to your apartment.  It must have been, like, 75 blocks or some shit.  You apologize on behalf of the MTA.   You’re going to be doing this a lot.

Saturday, 12:30AM:

You call a car service for your guests because you have drank approximately 6 bottles of wine and that weird thing that always happens to every single person whenever they’re drunk happens: 1.) you are totally averse to taking public transportation and 2.) you are a millionaire, so you can afford a $50 cab ride back to Hell’s Kitchen.  Beautiful.

Sunday, 6PM:

You are seriously regretting making plans to meet a friend for dinner in Manhattan.  You know you need to get over your hatred of shuttlebuses, but for now, you decide to walk to 4th Avenue and take the N train into the city.  All goes surprisingly well.  You start to think to yourself, “Maybe I can do this.  Maybe this isn’t so bad.”

Sunday, 8PM:

On your way home, a Q train comes on the N track and you get on, because you think that this is actually an N train masquerading as a Q train.  Why else would it roll up to the N train track?  You’re wrong.  Totally wrong.  You need to get out at Atlantic Terminal to transfer to an N train so you can walk literally one and a half miles from 4th Avenue to your apartment. 

While waiting to get off of the train at Atlantic Terminal, you see a bunch of teen hoodlums signaling to each other. You are witnessing a robbery.  Said hoodlums snatch an iPhone from someone and run off the train, knocking a woman down.  You get off and wait a few minutes on the platform.  You don’t want to get caught in the crosshairs of teenage delinquency. 

You walk up and down and up and down, and finally you have arrived at the N platform.  Only the N platform is blocked off by a mile-long trash cart.  You hope that since the R isn’t running, you will be able to catch an N train running on that track. 

A D train goes by.  You are pessimistic.  You consider just ditching the subway altogether and make an attempt to hail a cab.  You wait.  You have to stay strong.  If you take a cab every time the MTA fucks up, you will have spent approximately $4 million.  Another D train goes by.  Someone crazy starts a fight with someone else who is also crazy.  You think, “Oh my God, I’m going to see someone get thrown onto the tracks.  Right now.” 

You thank your fucking lucky stars that an N train finally shows up.  You take it to 4th Avenue.  You walk as fast as you can to your apartment and as you get inside, you slide down the door dramatically like they do in the movies and in cartoons. 

“Is this my new life?” you ask yourself.

Monday, 9PM:

You haven’t left the house all day because you are off of work and there is an Intervention marathon on.  You realize that there is one good thing that can come out of all of this subway bullshit: hibernation.  You will always have an excuse not to hang out.  Blame it on the MTA!  Maybe this is not so bad.

Tuesday, 8AM:

THIS IS SO BAD.  Like, so bad.  The sidewalks are bona fide ice skating rinks and you have to walk all the way to the 7th Avenue stop.  Sure, there’s an entrance on 8th Avenue, but COME ONNNNNNNNN.  You get on a train and lean up against the door like usual, because that side doesn’t open up until you get to Jay Street, which is your stop anyway.  You almost fall out of the car, backwards, as the doors behind you open when you get to Carroll Street. 

You’re pretty sure it’s a safe bet to do the exact opposite of everything you’ve ever done. 

This is the only way you’re going to survive. 

Good luck out there.



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