‘We Walked Through the Downpour to the Closest Train Station’

Boarding

Dear Diary:

My fiancé and I rode our bikes to Manhattan from Brooklyn final summer season to meet some mates for an outside restaurant dinner.

As dinner ended, it started to rain — onerous. We couldn’t bike again house, so we walked by the downpour to the closest prepare station.

Drenched, we carried our bikes down to the platform, the place we noticed a bunch of youngsters. They have been a bit rowdy however innocent and ready for an uptown prepare, which pulled in simply as the lights of the prepare we have been ready for began to shine down the tunnel.

Just then, with out the youngsters noticing, a skateboard that belonged to one among them slipped and rolled onto the tracks. As the uptown prepare’s doorways opened, the board’s proprietor rotated to seize it, solely to see it the place it had fallen with a prepare bearing down.

The teen hesitated. He was clearly contemplating going onto the tracks as his mates held open the doorways and yelled at him to depart the board the place it was.

With solely seconds to spare, a transit employee who had witnessed the whole flip of occasions yelled from throughout the method and pulled out a walkie-talkie. The downtown prepare screeched to a halt a couple of toes in entrance of the skateboard.

The conductor placed on a neon vest, swung open the prepare’s entrance door and hopped down onto the tracks. He grabbed the skateboard and handed it to the boy, who sprinted to the uptown prepare. His mates have been nonetheless pushing in opposition to the closing doorways.

— Elizabeth Blue Guess

Friendship Test

Dear Diary:

I used to be at the dry cleaner. A girl got here in with an ungainly heavy bundle, which she dumped onto the counter. It was a patterned comforter fully coated with stains.

“My friend’s cat threw up all over my bed,” she stated. “Can you clean this?”

“That will be $50,” the girl behind the counter stated.

“She must be a very good friend,” I stated.

“She is not a friend anymore,” the girl replied.

— Patricia Rich

Slim Rose

Dear Diary:

On a Saturday morning in the fall of 1963, I and two of my Villanova University freshman mates boarded a prepare from Philadelphia to New York. We have been on our method to the legendary file store in the subway arcade at the Times Square station.

The store, Times Square Records, was owned by Irving Rose, who was generally known as Slim. It had grow to be a mecca for teenage boys and younger males in cities alongside the East Coast who have been followers of what’s at this time referred to as doo-wop music.

Animated and loud in our black leather-based automotive jackets and pompadours, my mates and I aggravated the different passengers of the prepare arguing the deserves of our favourite singing teams and composing “want” lists of the data we hoped to purchase once we received to New York.

After the prepare arrived at Grand Central, we made our method to 42nd Street and Broadway, solely to discover that the retailer didn’t open for an hour.

We went to Grant’s cafeteria in Times Square and, seated at the lunch counter, we continued to focus on doo-wop music and our need lists.

A tall, slender man with thick glasses who was sitting to our proper regarded us wearily as he learn the newspaper and ate a sandwich.

At 10 minutes to the hour, he received up and made a movement indicating to the counterman that he was paying for our lunches.

“Follow me,” he stated listlessly.

When we reached the door, the counterman shouted.

“Thanks, Slim,” he stated. “See you tomorrow.”

— Craig Long

The Handoff

Dear Diary:

It was 1995. My spouse and I had a 6-month-old daughter, and my spouse, a musician, had simply returned to work.

Her job usually began in the night earlier than I received house from mine. She would take the prepare to the subway cease that was proper beneath the constructing the place I labored. I’d be ready there at the turnstile, and she or he would get off the prepare and hand the child over to me earlier than operating again to get on the prepare once more.

She normally had to anticipate the subsequent prepare, however on this explicit day, the prepare she had gotten off was nonetheless in the station and she or he was ready to return to the seat she had been sitting in.

The girl who was sitting subsequent to her was visibly perplexed. She waited so long as she may earlier than saying one thing.

“What did you do to that baby you were holding?” she blurted out.

— Nitash Balsara

Laces and Canes

Dear Diary:

I used to be strolling to work in the future once I observed an elegantly dressed older girl who was strolling with a cane. Her shoelace was untied.

I ended her and started to tie it for her.

“I am a mess today and I detest these thin shoelaces,” she stated in pretty British accent.

I stated that she was beautiful, and she or he thanked me profusely.

Arriving at that elevator financial institution at my workplace, I noticed an older man who additionally had a cane and an untied shoelace.

Do I? Yes!

“Have I got a gal for you,” I stated to him.

— Nancy Hafter

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Illustrations by Agnes Lee