Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Real Life Nightmare

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)


  1. Oh my Dear!!!!!

    What a horror!!!

    Yes, I admit, I am glad I don't live in NYC.

    Gentle hugs,

  2. And I am going to remember to be very aware of how lucky I am, to live where I do.

    One of those things, which I tend to take for granted, most days of the year.

    Gentle hugs,

  3. Hey there, I was trying to find out what happened last night and came across your posting here. :) It was quite the scene. Atlantic station was surely packed to unsafe. I was waiting for the Q after catching a 3 from Times Square and the platform was full, no announcements where being made and more people would hoard down the stairs (I'm assuming after a 1,2 or 3 arrived) to wait for a train that wouldn't come. There was a nice older gentleman playing the accordion which helped, but also sort of made it feel like the Titanic ;). In any case it was the amount of people there and showing up that made me leave; that intuitive sense of feeling trapped was a good impetus to needle the throngs back to the 1,2,3 lines just to get away.

    I mostly felt bad for all the people who physically can't get around well, had their kids with them, don't speak english, etc etc.

    Also, found this after stumbling upon your blog here. In case you don't know what really happened.

  4. Holy moly! You deserved a nice meal after all that!

  5. Mary, I feel terribly for you; that must have been awful. I am so glad your husband was able to fetch you. I am very glad I don't live in a big city anymore.

  6. Nightmare is right! I think I would have been feeling just as much panic and fear as you did. Good thinking on your part to call for help and get the attention of a police officer. I never take driving my own car to places for granted.

  7. Are you sure you don't want to move to North Dakota? I have a 10-minute drive to the Capitol Building, where I work, and then a 5-minute walk from the parking lot! Yesterday I had to go to K-Mart and was thinking how busy the traffic was on State Street. But I know you would laugh your head off at my so called "traffic jam".

  8. (((Mary))) I'm so appalled at what you had to endure!! Yes, I am so happy I don't live in a large city like New York. You Poor Dear! I'm extremely happy your Hubby came to get you and the policeman was able to spot your distress right away. Angels in Disguise?
    Don't be hard on yourself about the diet was well worth saving your emotional and physical state by that time of night. Geesh!
    I only wish your Hubby could pick you up each day from work but I know that isn't possible for you. Hopefully today will be much much better!!!
    Great Spirit...Hover over my Sister Mary this day and always, please?
    I Love You Girl!

  9. Oh Mary.....I could NEVER SURVIVE in New York.....I don't know how you manage....but you do!! Hand in there.



  10. What a nightmare! Glad it's not like this everyday, and so glad your husband found you!