Today, I became the Man I mocked for so many years in Manhattan. You know that Man — bitter soul cursing the extreme weather as he chips the ice off his windshield and prepares for his perilous commute, as his Manhattan brethren gambol about on snowshoes.
Yes, compounding the excitement of my first commute in extreme weather, I had a rental car to return (Car in shop after the Missus hit a deer. Long story.) I turned on News 12, which had its every reporter freezing alongside some Westchester highway, dodging skidding cars. “Stay home,” they said in unison. “Drink hot chocolate. Watch DVDs.”
But when Enterprise turned down our request for a foul-weather grace period, I chipped off the ice, put the Taurus in low gear, and hit the road around 8, wending through the byways north of Westchester. We’d opted for no insurance (though I later found out the Missus called Enterprise after I’d left and tried to buy insurance on the fly), so I took it extra slow.
The ride was blissfully uneventful, and the staff at Enterprise — they’re all ridiculously nice — said they’d provide a ride to the train. I must admit to a little excitement; different train station, different train. Fresh material for Trainjotting, dear reader!
A staffer drove me to the White Plains station. He grew up in White Plains and said it’s grown too much, there’s too much traffic, parking is too expensive. He would through the maze that surrounds the station and dropped me off.
I headed up the stairs, just as the conductor barked out, “8:29 Express.”
I hustled along the platform, careful not to become that other Man — the Man who slips on the platform while running in extreme weather (close cousin to the Man who curses extreme weather while scraping off his windshield). As I boarded, I did the math. 8:29 from White Plains. That’s 12 minutes after the 8:17 from Hawthorne. I looked around the train. Familiar faces. My same damn train.
She got in just before 9:07, two minutes past the scheduled time. Well done, Metro North.