Having decided to take the crossing guard’s advice and avoid the subway, you turn South towards the bus stop. You aren’t used to taking the bus due to it being farther away than the subway, and so you take it less frequently than the train.
As the raindrops begin to gain volume (in both decibel and size), you are reminded again of why your dislike of New York City in the rain trumps your love of the city at other times. Sean would say, “It’s assets do not outweigh it’s liabilities, in this regard.” Sean is always talking like that. And in this case, you believe he is correct. Getting wet is not the issue. Nor is it the rat population that loves a good downpour to remind them that they, too, inhabit the Big Apple. The reason you don’t like rain in New York is far more logistical than that, far more direct: You hate umbrellas. You pride yourself on being someone who walks at a decent speed, and so you ordinarily have no problem passing someone on the sidewalk as you walk by. If the person you’re passing has an umbrella, however, this can become a challenge as you maneuver past. Additionally, you’re 5’10”. If the umbrella-wielder is both slower and shorter than you, you have found that generally the spokes of their umbrella tend to match up to the level of your eye. In fact, in the past, you’ve noticed the umbrella’s uncanny ability to get dangerously close to blinding you.
It is this intense dislike of umbrellas that you’re thinking of as you hurry down the sidewalk, sidestepping Slow Walkers while pulling up your hood to maintain some semblance of dryness. The rain is getting heavier, and before long, your hood isn’t making much of a difference at all. As the rainfall gains momentum, you’re amazed to observe that the people sharing the sidewalk with you begin to actually walk slower! “Avoiding puddles,” you mutter to yourself (out loud, of course) as you pick up speed. No sense in getting caught behind the Umbrella People if they’re only going to mosey their way through this thing, anyway. While you’ve given up all hope of making it to work dry, you’re still pretty sure you won’t be that late with any luck.
You deftly leap over puddles and weave your way in and around your fellow commuters as you pass them on the way to the bus stop. You’re actually feeling quite proud of yourself for this impressive display of agility despite being soaking wet and a bit tardy. As you approach the bus stop, you are relieved to look around and notice that a) the line to get on the bus is not that long, and b) the bus is within view.
Smugly congratulating yourself in your head, you take your Metrocard out of your wallet and try to squeeze yourself under the shelter of the bus stop as best you can. Some other commuters from down the sidewalk notice that the bus is getting closer, and begin to pick up their pace in order to get a seat. They begin to crowd around the shelter. You are just beginning to wonder if you’ll need to resort to pushing and shoving in order to board the bus when two things happen at exactly the same time; the bus squeals to a halt in front of the curb, and a middle-aged man rips the wallet out of your hand and begins running down the sidewalk.
If you forego the bus to chase after the wallet thief, click here.
If you decide to get on the bus and deal with the missing wallet when you get to work, click here.