Tuesday, March 17, 2009

.:the runt:.

I have mixed feelings about the Long Island Railroad. Usually when I ride out from Brooklyn, it's not bad, I always get a seat, and it take about 40 minutes to get to my destination. Not too shabby.

Coming back from LI to BK is a whole different story. If I stay for the weekend, I have to take the rush hour train at 7:30AM to make it back to the BK to get to work on time on Mondays. Some times you get a seat. Sometimes you don't. And sometimes you get "the runt".

Yes, the runt. The reject seat hanging off the two larger ones - the bum leg, the last picked in gym class, the midget, whatever you want to call it. I'm talking about the seat with, instead of a comfy headrest, a handle right at your shoulder blades. Even thinking about taking a nap will put you at severe risk of whiplash considering that you nod off. You sit there praying that someone will need to steady themselves so you can lay your head back against their wrists and catch a few Zs.

I look around, jealous of the passengers, (in their Wall Street, high-class, make-that-soy) business suits getting not only a head rest, but a window to fall asleep on. That perfect little nook to cradle their head before they have to start their hard day of stealing everyone's money.

Now there's always a chance that you'll find yourself on one of the newer LIRR trains... actually a better chance, especially if you're heading in to Penn Station. They're so nice and bright. Oatmeal colored walls, two-toned blue high-back seats, and plenty of legroom. If you're heading to Brooklyn though, it's a crapshoot. You can see the train lights coming down the tracks about a hundred yards away, start getting excited just to get on the train and out of the cold, thinking to yourself, "At least I'll be warm." It never even crosses your mind that in less than 2 minutes there's a good possibility you'll be in the runt seat, like a newborn unable to hold up your own head.

So you see the first half of the train whip by, all blurred, going too fast to see the interior. As it starts to slow down it reminds you of that idiot on Wheel of Fortune who just wanted one more spin. And as the train slows down you think you might see that old ripped maroon and navy vinyl, the over head lights flickering. (Come on! Big Money! Big Money! {That's a whole other rant: How the phrase "Big Money" snaked its way off Press Your Luck and ended up on Wheel of Fortune??!!!}) And as the train doors open, the arrow clicks over one more spoke on the wheel to the dreaded black pie piece with the white block lettering. BANKRUPT. You're on the old train and the runt is all yours. Happy Monday.

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