“It looks like it’s gonna rain,” you say out loud to your empty apartment. You had paused at the window to check out the rapidly darkening sky as you get ready for work. There are many things about living in New York City you like; Sunday morning foot traffic in Manhattan, the silence of a middle-of-the-night snowfall, and a cool iced tea on a shady park bench are among your favorites. Rainstorms, on the other hand, are not. “Ugh,” you sigh as you continue to prepare yourself for another long day.
It is your plan to go visit your friend Sean in the hospital after work. Sean has been your friend for many years, and has always been there for you when you needed him. Recently, citing “keeping it green” and “being all healthy and stuff”, Sean has decided to start biking to work from his apartment in Brooklyn. When he first moved to Brooklyn a year ago, you remember having made fun of him quite a bit, calling him a “hipster” and telling him he should grow a beard and wear skinny jeans. You’re proud to know him, though, and he takes the light ribbing well. Sadly, it was about a week ago that Sean was biking to his job and collided with another bicyclist. He was seriously injured in the accident. He’s recovering well enough now, however, that he’ll grin when you bring him a package of Double Stuf Oreos™ and hear you when you call him a dumbass for biking to work in the first place.
You place the sandwich cookies in your bag and exit your apartment, making sure to lock the deadbolt behind you. You’re already halfway to the subway station when you hear the distant rumble of a far-off thunderstorm. You’re another fifteen feet past that when you slap yourself in the forehead because, in grabbing the Oreos, you neglected to also grab your umbrella. You can, in fact, still see it in your mind’s eye, hanging off the door knob of your apartment’s only closet.
You hesitate briefly, considering going back for it, but the clock on your cell phone’s display reminds you that you need to be at work sooner than later. There are eight blocks between your residence and the nearest subway station, so doubling back four of them at the risk of being late for work is simply not an option. You decide to push on, hoping against hope that the rain holds out until you’re safely underground. “Besides,” you say aloud, “I’ve got a hoodie on.” Indeed, you do.
The crossing guard at the next street is not smiling today. Normally, she’s there about this time of day waving and stopping cars from running over the schoolchildren that sporadically dart into the middle of the road on their way to school. Today, however, she’s looking a bit concerned as she speaks with another pedestrian who stopped to speak with her. As you get closer, only about two blocks from the subway, she looks up and makes eye contact with you. “Train’s delayed, today, Dear,” she says, “Police activity on the tracks.” You happen to know of a bus stop about ten blocks away that, were a bus to come, would at least get you on the island of Manhattan. From there, it would be another subway ride (on a different line) to get to work. Whether you deal with the delay on your regular subway line, or you decide to speedwalk to the bus stop, you begin to realize there isn’t much chance of being on time anymore. It is at this point that the first raindrops hit you, and you further begin to realize there isn’t much chance of being dry much longer, either.
If you carry on and brave the delayed subway, click here.
If you decide to head down the street to the bus stop as fast as you can, click here.