I had just left Brett after a pleasant dinner at one of my favorite East Village restaurants, Boca Chica. Brett and I used to hang out all the time when he lived on East 7th and I lived on B and 13th. But that was the late 90s and things have changed. Brett lives in Brooklyn with his wife and kids, and I live in... well, it varies.
I took the V up to 14th, then heard "JOURNAL SQUARE TRAIN, JOURNAL SQUARE" as I approached the PATH entrance.
Maybe I could catch it.
I raced through the turnstiles and right to the closing doors. They were almost shut. So as all New Yorkers do when faced with a wait of ten or more minutes for the next train, I threw myself into the eight-inch space.
And ended up with only my foot wedged in the door.
I didn't look up, knowing the icy glares I'd get from the inhabitants of the car. The "Wait for the next one, you idiot" glares.
I waited a beat, but the doors didn't open again. It seemed pointless to just stand there, so I removed my foot to wait for the next train. Ten minutes would go fast enough. I had an issue of Wanderlust magazine to read.
Unfortunately, while my foot cooperated, my shoe did not. My shoe, caught by the toe in the rubber insulation of the Journal Square train door, was about to go to New Jersey without me.
Visions of me riding the train in one shoe, then limping down the street (or maybe just to the shoestore) crossed my mind.
I bent down and wrestled the shoe. The train was moving ever so slightly when, to my great relief, my shoe came free in my grasp.
And I was standing on the platform in one bare foot, holding a shoe, as the train sped away only inches from my face.
I dared not look behind me to see the amused or disgusted looks of the other commuters. I simply placed the shoe on the platform, stuck my foot in it, and skulked to the end of the platform.
I caught the next train rather than hang around. It went to Hoboken, not to my stop. But that's okay. Anywhere But Here would do nicely.