Monday, March 23

A break from the usual

I got to Ronkonkoma on the shuttle from Medford this morning expecting to take the 7:19 express to Penn.  Taking the 6:56 to Flatbush Avenue wasn’t an option because it was using M-7’s.  As I was waiting in the ticket office – not on the platform, it was cold this morning – a bit of inspiration came to me.  I’ve had reasonable luck riding on the closest-to-the-ticket-office cars on the 7:19 because they’re occupied mainly by normal people rather than SCA’s.  Could the same rule hold true on the 7:04 as well?  If it were the case, I’d save 15 minutes of waiting around Ronkonkoma station, which ranks very high on the list of the world’s most boring activities.  As a result, I gingerly made my way to the south side platform to the 7:04, peeked into the nearest car, and to my delight saw a variety of normal people with scarcely a suit in sight.  I took a window seat in reasonable confidence that the person who sat next to me would weigh under 250 pounds.  On the 6:56, an assumption like that would in all probability prove false.  But not now.  Within 30 seconds, a woman of about 35 and of normal build sat next to me.  She spent quite a bit of time fiddling with cosmetics, though nothing like the woman last week, and wasn’t too annoying.  I spent most of the ride into Penn reading and playing Tetris, and it went by pretty quickly.  The 7:04 makes four stops after Ronkonkoma, two more than the 7:19 makes but still a reasonably low number (some off-hour trains make over ten).  The car got quite crowded, with just about all of the seats including the middles filled by the last stop at Bethpage.  I waited three or four minutes for a 2 train to Park Place, a reasonable amount of time, and the car was moderately crowded but not too bad.

I actually came close to missing the 5:41 to Ronkonkoma after work.  That’s the last train which connects with the shuttle, so had I missed it I would have had to call to get picked up.  It was due to a variety of factors: I left work a little later than usual, had to wait almost ten minutes for a 3 train at Fulton, but most of all lost track of time while looking around in one of the news shops at Penn.  It was 5:38 when I finally looked at the time on my cell phone.  Fortunately, I wasn’t too far from Track 19 and made it onto the 5:41 with a couple of minutes to spare.  It was an M-3 consist, which was fortunate because the only non-middle seat I could find was next to a middle-aged woman who was rather on the stout side.  There was enough room, but in an M-7 seat it would’ve been a much tighter fit.  I spent almost the entire trip playing Tetris, with a couple of decent games but no threat to my record.

Gym: day off today.

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Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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