We’ve all seen someone fall on the subway. Unwitting dolts who didn’t anticipate the force of a train starting up from a dead stop.
Well, I joined their inauspicious ranks today. Perhaps still groggy from my week in the sun, I took a full-on tumble on a packed 6 train at rush hour.
Here’s how it happened.
The uptown 6 was nearly full at 28th. As we approached 33rd, I decided to move from where the doors were opening to a less-populated spot a few feet away. You know, make room for people. Do right by New York.
A large woman stood in my way. I said excuse me. She didn’t move. I muttered a sarcastic “thank you” as I squeezed between her and the pole, next to which a man and a woman shared a two-seater.
Mind you, the train had just pulled into 33rd. It wasn’t moving and I don’t think people had even started getting on yet. None of the usual fall-factors were at work.
I’d taken my backpack off back at 28th, again to free up room for my fellow riders (there’s more space for it swinging knee-level from my hand than clamped to my back), again to do right by New York. Perhaps that had me off-balance. Perhaps the dour, large woman threw a subtle hip-check.
Either way, I fell sideways, dropping 200 pounds of dopey Irishman onto the man and woman in the two-seater.
“I’m sorry!” I exclaimed as I jumped to my feet. People looked. People snickered. I cast a dirty look at the shrew, pretending it was all her fault. The train crawled out of 33rd, all eyes on yours truly.
We’ve all had someone fall on us on the subway. And unless we’re truly injured, we try to console them, assuage their humiliation. (If we’re injured, we smite them.) Not these two, especially the man, a prissy 40-ish Asian guy with a suit on. He pushed me away and hissed.
A week in Mexico, and I’ve lost my commuter skill. How long before it returns?