Nothing is more destined to create deep-seated anxieties in people
than the false assumption that life should be free from anxieties.
Fulton J. Sheen
I often say there is no need to drive a car in New York. One can get anywhere they want on a train or bus. But, sometimes that just isn't so. Last night was a nightmare coming home from work. It all started out well. I was on a cool air-conditioned train, enjoying a book on my Kindle, when a conductor announced...'No N, R, or Q trains going to Brooklyn. To catch any of these trains, please go back uptown to 42nd Street and pick up the 2 or 3 train. Take to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn." There, we were assured, we would be able to pick up our trains and to the rest of the way home.
Heading uptown was a nightmare in itself. There was no free transfer. As usual, the MTA wasn't on top of things so it cost me and all the other passengers an extra fare. The train itself was mobbed, and you can't imagine how crowded and hot it was at the Times Square Station. But, the nightmare gets worse. On the 2 train we were packed like sardines...and there was no air conditioner. The sweat was running off me...but I'm dealing with it because I am on my way home...or so the MTA had me believing.
The truth is, there were NO R or N trains running either way. When we got off at Atlantic Avenue I couldn't believe what I was facing. There were tens of thousands of people there all struggling to find their way out of what had a 120 degree station...if not more. Police officers were doing their best to direct people, but it was a mob scene down there. I hadn't been feeling well to begin with. My back was aching badly, and I was beginning to feel like I was going to pass out. "Please. Get me out of here." I cried out as I literally started sobbing. "I can't take anymore of this I am afraid I am going to faint." An officer saw my situation, on cane and all amongst all these people, and personally helped me to the elevator and out to fresh air.
Fresh air, to be sure, but throngs of people and no place to go. It was quite a frightening experience because none of us knew what was going on. There were police stationed all over the place, and police cars, fire trucks, and even a hazmat vehicle sped by sirens blaring. Someone passed a rumor that there was a bomb on the Manhattan Bridge, but how can you blame people for jumping to conclusions when, as usual, the MTA couldn't get it right? The MTA on one occasion said 'debris on the tracks on the Manhattan Bridge' and on another occasion 'Smoke alert at Dekalb Avenue.' It's almost like they were trying to cover something up, and when added to all else that was going on, it does make you wonder.
Eventually I made it to the corner, leaned against a pole, and called hubby on my cell phone. "Please, come get me" I cried. "Tell me where, and I'll be there right away." He heard the panic in my voice. I was still feeling so very lightheaded. Unfortunately, though, even travelling by car was treacherous, and it took him almost 40 minutes to get there. We stopped at the Spanish restaurant to pick up some take food, and yes, I'll admit it, my diet went out the window last night. I wasn't feeling well enough to go home and fix my standard dishes. My sodium level didn't go up too high, but higher than it has been.
My nightmare was finally over when I stepped into my apartment at 8:10 pm last night. I'd left work at 4:20 pm. Now, aren't you glad you don't live in New York? (Sigh)