“It worked out” diaries: The subway chase

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

“It worked out” diaries

Sometimes, the universe lets you know it’s got your back. Not all the time — 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.


The great subway chase 

Dear Diary,

Subway chase at Dekalb station
Dekalb station — can Jen make it to the end of the platform in time?

Today I vowed to pay more attention to my actions, belongings and surroundings. I also vowed to get more exercise. (TBD when the exercise part will happen.)

I walked onto the subway platform at Dekalb station in Brooklyn, on my way 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? It happens to me a lot.) Apparently I flung it hard because it sailed toward the edge of the platform, heading for the tracks below. I shouted an expletive. It started with the letter F.

At that exact moment, a Q train whirred in and my phone, against all odds, landed 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, panting and sprinting in my knee-high boots. 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 most of all, “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. “Waitwaitwait! 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?

But then, an older gentleman getting on the train caught my attention. He didn’t speak English, but in the universal language he smiled and asked me 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.)