Two … hours … plus … because of rain. How is that even possible? I don’t even know if I would classify yesterday’s forecast as “rain” either, that shit was just straight up drizzling. All it took was a little bit of water and the entire transit system went to shit within a few hours. Tunnels were closed due to an accident, so if you took the bus you were stuck playing a non-voluntary game of hide and go seek in the Lincoln Tunnel and if you took the train then you were subject to 20-45 minute delays. I don’t even want to imagine how these trains operate when it snows. Hell, I might even make my wife push that baby out early so I can start Paternity leave a few weeks in advance. Operation Work From Home letttsss gooooo!!!
As usual, here’s the rundown of how it all went down …
Started the day off strong with a cup of coffee and a compliment from the wife. I noticed the rain wasn’t coming down that hard so I figured I wouldn’t be subject to that much misery. As I drove to the train people were driving slow on the road so by the time I got there I had about a minute to spare, so I darted across the street like an Italian cheetah and was able to catch the train just as it approached the station … I was wet, but it had to be a sign of good of good fortune to come … or so I thought.
It was smooth sailing until we hit Newark Penn, which as I’ve come to learn is where dreams come to die. I had my headphones on listening in secret shame to that song from “A Star Is Born” with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga when I noticed that people were getting up and moving quickly … a little tooooo quickly. I turned my headphones off and the conductor was making an announcement. It was something about cross-honoring transit tickets at the PATH or some shit blah blah blah. I figured I should get up and follow the other pathetic sheep to the PATH train which has no cell service because NJTRANSIT was built in the 1800’s and modeled off the horse and buggy design. As soon as I stood up I realized that this shit wasn’t happenin’. I was late to the game and the line was super fucking long, so I sat down in my seat and took it on the chin like the commuting loser I am … Right at that moment the Conductor hit me with the most shocking news of 2018, which of course was that today was gonna be “slow going”.
You gotta love the detail from Mr. Conductor acting like as if this delay was an outlier. Who you kiddin’ broski?! For fuck sake dude, I’ve been delayed at some point every day during my entire 3 week tenure on Satan’s Service. WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER DAY? IS TODAY SPECIAL?!? Not to mention, you have the audacity to act like this is just some strange occurrence! I’m sorry for yelling.
A few minutes passed by and my 20 minute delay became 40 minutes in a matter of minutes. I’m not sure how the math works out on that one, so I can only assume that 20 minutes was too easy. From there I was left to sulk in my own morning misery …
For the next 40 minutes I sat there as our train cart crawled to Secaucus. When we hit the station, tons of people piled on my train which meant that my delayed commute with a seat all to myself was about to become a delayed commute with a seat shared with an equally miserable and late-to-work stranger. Person by person passed me by even though I was wearing deodorant, but then FINALLY a little old lady and I locked eyes. I scooted over and let her sit down only to realize that her equally old and little husband was left standing behind her. Immediately my good upbringing (thanks Mom and Dad) kicked in and I insisted that this old dude take my spot next to his bride of probably the last 80+ years. BLESS HIS HEART!
As I looked back at them I said it myself, “this is it, THIS is my future, my beautiful bride and I riding New Jersey Transit together, delayed with hearing aids, in love.” My good deed was the glimmer of hope in a train ride of despair!
Now, to paint the picture, this took place in front of the entire train cart that was seated. Everyone was watching what they had just witnessed before their sleeping bag riddled eyes! What they had seen was I, Nick Buono, giving up my seat to an elderly couple during a time in our society where good people are hard to come by. Where chivalry is apparently as dead as NJTRANSIT’s commitment to service. I was CERTAIN that as soon as I turned around that I would be greeted with a standing ovation and a 2 minute applause for my good deed. I would be celebrated like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby!
Why thank you! Thank you! You’re far too kind, Old Sport!!
Just kidding. No one gave a shit. Everyone was staring at their phones.
Anyway, from there our train actually started to move kinda decent into Penn Station. I had finally arrived. I made a mad dash through this human zoo and recounted my travels. While I was proud of my efforts, I still wasn’t satisfied. There was room for improvement, most notably being my misstep of activating a ticket that wasn’t even checked. That’s $8.50 not going to the ol’ college fund. Sorry future baby of mine you gonna have to get a job!!! You can thank NJTRANSIT.
Total time on the train was about an hour and 20 minutes, combine that with getting to the train in the morning we’re looking about an hour and 40 minutes total so far. All that was left was the last leg, which is the easiest part. I just gotta take the 2-3 Train downtown one stop and I’m at 14th Street with a two avenue walk to my office. So off I go and just as I swiped my Metrocard it read in big ass letters “INSUFFICIENT FUNDS” …. What now!!?! How! I have a monthly card! This makes no sense, the last time I had my card I remember taking it out of my wallet and passing … it … to … my …. wife ……….
As it turned out my beautiful, lovely wife had asked me for my Metrocard last week. She wouldn’t lose it she said. She’d return it she said. Welp, I’m just gonna do what any husband does in this situation, which is take the blame. There’s no chance I blame her for not giving me MY card back. She’s the best and I’m not worthy. I’m not gonna do that, so if you’re reading this babe, it’s my fault. I’m gonna go stand on this line now …
I arrived to work shortly before 10AM. Still crushed the day though.
Until the next delay! I hope you enjoyed the read. If you want to follow me on my delayed journey follow me:
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