The Long Way Home

Last night, after writers group, I decided to go our for drinks with a few of them. We broke up around 12:15am and I walked to the PATH station. Because it was after midnight, the trains didn’t go directly to Hoboken. I had to take the Newark train and transfer at Grove St. After about 15 minutes the Newark train comes. It’s another 10 minutes to Grove Street. Of course, the Hoboken train was not there when I transfered. So I had to wait. After about twenty minutes of listening to some twenty somethings declare how sexy they thought each other was, a train comes. Now, I should have realized that it was on the same track as before, and therefore meant it was going away from the city, but the little red HOB light was lit signaling this was a Hoboken train. Also, I was weary and just wanted to get home. I asked a passenger. Does this go to Hoboken? Yes, he says. Hoboken and Journal Square. I step on the train. The doors close. It goes to Hoboken, eventually, he says. It is then that I realize I am going the wrong way. Another passenger tells me, this may be the train you were waiting for. It will turn around at Journal Square. As he says this I watch a Hoboken train pass in the other direction. When we get to Journal Square, the conductor shouts, “Train out of service!” Time is now 1:20am. I wait. And wait. And…


…and finally the train comes. I check the sign three times before I board. Twenty minutes later, I’m in Hoboken. I decide, self-righteously, to take a cab instead of walking home. When I sit down finally in my apartment, the clock reads near 3:00am. The passenger who told me, yes, this is the Hoboken train, never apologized, even after it was obvious he had led me astray. I’m trying to convince myself this was all in my karma so as not to be grumpy and angry all day at my lack of sleep. I hope your evening faired better.

4 Replies to “The Long Way Home”

  1. After our writing group met last night, I took the #4 train with Kris Dikeman, which was (strangely) packed at 10:00 p.m. We decided to switch at Brooklyn Bridge to the local #6 train; sure, it would take longer to get uptown, but at least we could get a seat. Half an hour later, I said goodbye to Kris at 77th Street and pulled out my writing pad. (I’ve gotten into the habit of writing every morning and evening on my one-hour commute). At the next stop, 86th Street, I put the pad away when the conductor announced that service has been discontinued on all uptown trains. Passengers were directed to take a shuttle bus to 125th Street. I was anxious to get home at this point, but the idea of taking a bus to 125th Street at that hour wasn’t all that enticing so I opted to be clever and hailed a cab instead, which would get me home to the Bronx in 15 to 20 minutes. Well, guess what? One hour later, I was still sitting on the FDR in bumper- to-bumper traffic (apparently due to construction on the Third Avenue Bridge).

    I wound up getting home around midnight, just as Matt Kressel began his commute to Hoboken….

  2. So I guess this is the point where I admit to being home in time to watch “The Daily Show” last night and am mutually hated for it?

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