Monday, October 1, 2012


I can confirm that the late-night D train is a perfectly fun-filled place to spend the night.

After knocking-back a few beers with the buds, I began my hazy, heavy-footed journey home, during which, at some random interval, I drunkenly dozed-off on the D. When I snorted myself awake, I found myself sharing a non-moving subway car with a handful of men asleep in their seats. They appeared homeless, or so I surmised from their bristly, matted beards and their garments – mottled yet paled to a gray. Not a bad place to get some shut-eye, I thought. In how many other indoor places can the homeless let their guard down and restore themselves?

I assessed the situation: the lights were on, the air-conditioning was running and the sign outside informed me that I had ended-up at the Coney Island terminus. We should be rolling-along again shortly.

“Do you have the time?” One man was suddenly conscious. I did not want to know for how long I had been sleeping, but I owed my fellow passenger an answer.

“4:15,” and something inside me winced. How late it was, how late. As the train whirred back towards Manhattan, I resolved never to let myself fall asleep on a subway car again.

When I boarded another D train a few nights ago, happily intoxicated, I felt determined to hold-back sleep, as if sleep were some insistent door-to-door salesman that I was attempting to shunt out of my house. Success seemed imminent as the first series of above-ground stops flew by. Then, after glancing away from the window for just a minute, I looked outside again and, to my alarm, saw the sign “50th Bay Street” appear: one stop away from Coney Island. I passed my stop again! Worse, the train headed back in the other direction was arriving on the opposite platform. Oh, bother!

With all the grace of a kidney stone, I leaped off my train, scrambled through the station and reached the doors of the other train, just as they were closing. Thankfully, the tenderhearted conductor, noting my distress, kindly reopened the doors for me. When I sat down, that sudden sprint through the station suddenly caught-up with me; it initiated the very first pangs of a really bad hangover: one that felt as though someone were wringing-out my brain like a washcloth, over and over again, as if attempting to squeeze-out every infinitesimal drop of alcohol from every single synapse. My brain would bang mercilessly until I went to sleep the following night.

Hilariously, the next stop on this newly-boarded train was Coney Island. I was asleep at Coney Island long enough on the first train for it to reverse its direction back homewards. I shook my head, rubbed my temples and attempted a smile; even in that pained state, I strongly sensed the absurdity of my situation.

I cannot remember how long it took for that docked train to take me home.

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