“It worked out” diaries: The subway chase

This is about the day Jen vowed to pay more attention: To her actions, her belongings, and her surroundings. Also the day she vowed to get more exercise. (TBD when that part will happen.)

“It worked out” diaries

Sometimes the universe lets you know it’s got your back. Not all the time, because then we’d just be spoiled. But every once in a while, the stars align — and you run fast enough, and people are wonderful enough, and things work out. “It worked out” diaries are short stories about times when, against all odds, things went our way.

Do you have a story of a time when it all worked out? Drop us a line at thejuggleblog at gmail dot com — we’d love to hear your story and possibly publish it if we think it’s a good fit for The Juggle.

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The great subway chase

Q train at Dekalb Station

Dear Diary,

This is about the day I vowed to pay more attention: To my actions, my belongings and my surroundings. Also the day I vowed to get more exercise. (TBD when that part will happen.)

I walked onto the subway platform at Dekalb station in Brooklyn, headed to work after dropping my daughter off at daycare. I reached into my pocket to pull out my phone and accidentally flung it. (Do other people do this? I seem to do it a lot.) Apparently I flung it hard because it headed over the edge of the platform toward the tracks. I shouted an expletive. It started with the letter F.

At that exact moment, a Q train whirred in and my phone landed on the train — on the four-inch ledge at the base of the doors on the first car of the train. I, at the very back end of the two football fields-long platform, shouted another expletive and started running, in hopes of catching up to the first car when it would reach the front of the subway platform and stop.

“Excuse me excuse me excuse me!” I shouted, sprinting and panting. I wove through the crowd that was now inching toward the edge of the platform to meet the arriving train. All the while thinking, “Damn, I’m out of shape,” “New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down,” “Why do I care so much about this stupid phone again?” and “I can make it, I can make it!”

By no minor miracle, I made it to the end of the platform just as the train did. I was 10 feet away from the front doors as they began to open. “Wait wait wait! Don’t get on the train yet!” I shouted, at the shrillest notes in my register. I heaved for breath.

I reached the doors and looked down. No phone. Another expletive. It must have fallen onto the tracks. Of course it fell onto the tracks — how could I have expected it to be there, still, after riding along the entire length of the platform, sitting on that tiny ledge, hanging over the abyss?

Train ledge up close — author’s size 6.5 boot shown for scale

But then, an older gentleman getting on the train caught my attention. He didn’t speak English but in the universal language he smiled at me and asked with his eyes: “Looking for this?”

He looked down at his hand and I did too — and in it was my phone.

What do you think? (Leave comments here.)