Thank God for the M-3’s
I had another chance today to go in a bit later, but unlike Tuesday I was totally worn out and could barely drag myself to Ronkonkoma station. for the 7:32 to Penn. When I got there about 7:15 the parking lot was considerably less crowded than it had been at 7:25 on Tuesday. To some extent this may be attributable to the fact that it was ten minutes earlier, and to some extent to day-to-day ridership variation. Logically, ridership should be about the same on a Thursday as on a Tuesday, but for whatever reason it doesn’t always work out that way. In any event, I was especially dreading the thought of being squashed next to an elephantine SCA, and grimly noted that there were quite a few such specimens waiting on the platform. Oh, no. You can imagine my elation when an M-3 consist pulled into the station. Even though the crowding would make getting a single seat an unlikely achievement, the slightly wider M-3 seats would give me some degree of protection against the SCA Squash. It actually turned out not to be necessary, as an average sized 30-something woman took the next seat at Deer Park. The car was pretty close to SRO by the time we got to Jamaica, but there were no delays and I waited under 30 seconds for a 3 train to Fulton.
I repeated Tuesday’s action and worked through lunch hour so I’d have a chance at getting the gloriously uncrowded 5:01 to Ronkonkoma. No trouble getting to Penn on time, as a 2 train arrived at Park Place just as I did. It was fairly crowded, mostly because of a rather loud group of 15 or 20 people traveling together. They got off at 14th, in what looked like an exodus from a burning building or something; my guess is that they weren’t regular riders and didn’t realize that the doors remain open long enough at stops that there’s no trouble getting off in time. To my surprise, the 5:01 was busier than it’s usually been, at least in my limited experience. I walked back three or four cars from the head of the train and all of them were at least two-thirds full. Finally, I took the aisle seat on the 3-across side, a big risk on an M-7, figuring that it was just a minute or so before departure and the chances that someone would take the middle seat were slim … though if anyone did take the middle seat he probably wouldn’t be slim! Fortuantely no one did, and I had an easy enough ride to Ronkonkoma. Having finished the first of three sections of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I took a break from reading and played some Tetris for the first time in over a week. Not with much luck, alas.
Gym: a (very much needed) day off