Tag Archives: R train

Imagination Games Gone Sour

4 Dec

Disclaimer:  The blog to follow is in no way intended to belittle the tragedy that spawned the authoring of this particular post.  It is based on an actual fear that I have, however unlikely it is to come to fruition.  I choose to approach it semi-humorously because, in my experience, that’s usually a good way to approach things that are uncomfortable to talk about.  Also, I know that even though this fear sometimes comes true for some people and that is totally tragic and awful, it will likely not come true to me.  That, however, doesn’t mean that I (a) can’t still be worried about it and (b) can’t be sad for the people it actually happens to.  Disclaimer over.  Actual blog beginning.

Throughout this blog I have mentioned the imagination games that I play to pass the time.  I play them while I am running.  I play them when I think about winning the 550 million dollar Power Ball.  I play them pretty much all the time.  As I have gotten older, though, I have noticed that my imagination games have become slightly scarier, slightly more sinister.  They have become, as one of my old co-workers used to say, more akin to ill-fantasies than fun goals and aspirations.  Here’s an example.

When I used to play imagination games back in the day they always went like this.  I wrote this thing, said this thing, or did this thing that people thought was super great.  Then I became famous and people were talking about me enough that Ellen took notice and invited me on her show.  Then I would imagine whether or not I would have to pick my own clothes or Ellen’s dressing room people would help me think of something to wear because nothing, and I mean nothing in my closet is good enough to wear for an interview with Ellen.  Also, I don’t really know how to use make-up other than eye liner and mascara so I would wonder whether or not Ellen’s make-up people would help me with the other things that I might need to look good on camera.  You know, because in my imagination game I really would not want to have a shiny forehead.  Even though, for the record, shiny forehead is something I actually never worry about in real life.  OR!  I would write this thing or say this thing or do this thing that people thought was super great.  Then I would become famous and people would be talking about me enough that Larry King would notice and invite me on his show.  Then I wouldn’t worry about outfits or make-up or shiny forehead but would instead only wonder how much trouble I would get in if I were to lean over Larry’s desk thing and snap his suspenders.  It has been my dream to snap Larry King’s suspenders far longer than it has been my dream to be interviewed by Ellen.  But things have changed.

Now I have ill-fantasies as opposed to funny and neat fantasies.  One of my most reoccurring ill-fantasies is being pushed into the subway tracks by a stranger.  I don’t know exactly when this ill-fantasy started but it has been repeating itself for a few years now.  I will be waiting for the R train, looking down the tracks expectantly, seeing the progress of the train and all of a sudden


A crazy person comes from behind me, shoves me on the back and I go tumbling onto the tracks.  In my ill-fantasy, that’s usually the end of the story although come to think of it sometimes I imagine the broken bones and the bleeding face but I always manage to scramble back out of the tracks before the train arrives.  In real life, as in the life that takes place outside of my mind, I look around the subway for crazies and slowly inch my way closer to the wall, safe from a random shove.

Now that I think back, I’m pretty sure it all started this one day when I was waiting for the R train and all of a sudden I saw this man in the darkness of the subway tracks.  He wasn’t on the tracks, he was to the side of the tracks, on the walkway set up for MTA employees.  He was thin, of average height, with a crazy head of blondish-brownish-grayish hair.  He came running down the side of the tracks, train horn blaring behind him as the conductor wondered whether the man would continue on the walkway or jump down onto the tracks without warning.  He ran and ran and then as he approached the divider between where straphangers wait and MTA employees walk he hurdled, like how Olympic athletes do, easily clearing the blockade and went running through the entire waiting area, with all the commuters taking a step back towards the wall to let him pass.  He then re-entered the walkway area on the other end of the subway station and continued on his way.  I’m pretty sure in those tense momenst as he made his way across the platform we were all thinking the same thing.  No one wanted to be shoved and if I were to imagine someone who was likely to shove someone randomly, it would be this man with the crazy hair and the vacant eyes that seemed as though they hadn’t seen the light of day in months.  Now on a weekly basis I have a moment of ill-fantasizing while waiting for the subway where I worry that I may or may not get shoved into the path of an oncoming train, or at least onto the empty tracks to be bruised, bloodied and bitten by rats.  Until yesterday I thought I was being crazy.  But then it happened to this guy.  And then!

I went online and I discovered that this is not the first time this has happened!  Last year I found out this other lady who is in the fashion industry in some capacity also got pushed onto the tracks!  Also by a stranger!  She broke some ribs and her lung got punctured and everything.  Not dead but I bet she doesn’t ride the subway anymore.  So, while I fully realize that the odds of me getting pushed down into the subway tracks are slightly better than me winning the 550 million dollar Power Ball, being interviewed by Ellen or snapping Larry King’s suspenders I am still nervous about it.

So for the foreseeable future, I will be the one hugging the wall of the subway station until the approaching train comes to a complete stop.