Underground Delivery

Most New Yorkers take the subway and most New Yorkers understand that this is just the price we have to pay for living here. We complain about them never being on time, that they are inhabited by the mentally insane, and that many times we have to watch the performances of those asking for money or a mariachi band. Still, I've lived in San Francisco where their idea of a transit system is more theoretical than actually existing. Los Angeles' transit system is your car, and Boston's is something that should be avoided altogether. So while we complain about our MTA, it's still the best in the country.

Last week I had an order, and for the years I've been doing this, I've never had one this specific. I was told to be at the northbound track of the 23rd Street station at 10:07am and to deliver a bouquet of white roses to the conductor of that train. This felt more like a hit than a delivery, but I was up for the challenge. I paid the fare and went to the platform and sure enough, at exactly 10:07 the C train rolled in. An attractive woman, and yes, I was surprised that an MTA subway driver would be attractive, sorry for my closed-minded attitude, was at the helm.

I knocked on her window with the flowers and she looked at me as though I were there to hijack her train. She opened the window with a slight bit of terror and said: "I don't give information." I handed her the flowers and she laughed knowingly. "Is this from that guy the other day?" I told her I had no idea, but that I was given very specific instructions to deliver these to her at this time and place. She opened the card and read it smiling. "Yep. These are from that guy who I saw running for the train and I kept the doors open for him. I've been driving for five years and no one has said as much as a thank you. I guess this makes up for it." Someone suddenly yelled out from the idling train: "Hey! Can we get moving?" She snapped back to reality and drove away. The ever turning wheels of New York have no time for sentimentality.

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