What happens when you go to the biggest city in the country? You get lost, damn it.
It's only 8A.M. and I've already fucked up the New York City transit system. Good thing I left early.
I woke up at 6:30A.M. and was prepared to take on my day like a warrior entering a gladitorial contest. No mistakes, no missteps. All good impressions and productive moves.
I was wrong.
Today's AfterLife column is dedicated to my massive missteps on mass transit this morning and what I learned.
There are several thoughts you have when you start to do the Manhattan thing. The earliest one for me was when I was standing on the wrong side of the right platform.
You see, as I learned there are two sides to every platform, just like there are two sides to every story. One side brings the trains going toward Manhattan and the other provides the ones going away from it. The confusing thing to realize is that whatever line you're on, it's probably the same train just going forward or backward.
I saw the most people on the left side of the platform, so I figured at peak working commute hours, I'd gotten it right.
When you're zipping around in a subway car you have a lot of time to think. Some people bring books or write in journals. Others just stare blankly into the blacked out abyss of the tunnel walls that surrounds them. Somehow the blackness seems more comforting to some than to mistakenly make eye contact with another passenger.
With the screaming metal car stopping everywhere between Brooklyn and Union Square you'd expect to see a lot of people in the train car right?
The car I'm in is air conditioned, spacious and full of less people than I'd thought.
It was because I got on the wrong fucking train.
I spent a whole four stops thinking I had gotten everything right. I didn't forget anything at my apartment, I was on time, looking presentable and I had everything at my back. I had made it to New York, which made me feel like I was queen of everything.
I spent a good amount of time wandering around the Brooklyn area of Beverly Road without any clue of what to do.
It crossed my mind just to get in a God damn cab, but with the shoestring budget I'd gotten together that wouldn't be practical.
I had an hour to get my shit together, and I couldn't manage to do it. I had to take the Green line to the end, and just wait for it to turn around, because going the opposite direction of the wrong one is always right? Right?
Send in the rescue squad, this girl fucked up.
You end up having a lot of time to think when you end up alone on a bench in the deepest part of Brooklyn. Things will get better right? I will figure my shit out.
I ended up getting on the R train to 23rd street just like I had planned twenty or so minutes later, but I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and defeat. I prepared myself. I did everything right, and still something went wrong.
Sometimes life just works out that way. If you fly toward the sun at a Million miles per hour you're bound to crash into it right.
And if you take on too much and forget that you're in the busiest and baddest city in the country, well then you've underestimated your surroundings.
After years of constant perfection and massive self-doubt I'm still learning that I'm not bulletproof.
The first step to overcoming whatever weird mistakes we make, is owning up to them. So yeah, I went the wrong fucking way. And I was late to work, but in the light of the Manhattan skyline I still breathe easy, because I am where I want to be and I will do anything to stay.