Subways, Buses and Wheelchairs – Oh My!

by Dan Fogg

Have you ever taken a subway before? I have. Ever ridden a public bus before? I have. Ever gotten to where you’re going riding the bus or the subway? Rats, you got me there…

I rode the subway for the first time the other day. I was going to Brooklyn. To a party. To a meeting that would likely turn quickly into a party. I was supposed to take the bus, the N6, from my place to the train station, then a train all the way to Flatbush Ave, a quick bus ride, and hike it the last couple blocks. Well I took the bus, the first one, and I took it right past the train station. I went too far, and immediately, immediately I was lost.

This lady told me to get to Flatbush Ave I should hop on this other bus and go to this other station and get on this other train that I’d never heard of. And stupidly I did, because the train she told me to transfer to was a train that I actually had heard of, and I knew it would get me where I wanted to go. So I went.

Come to find out the train she was talking about wasn’t so much running that day as it, well… wasn’t. There was another train in its place, but it would go to the same places, so I hopped on – not easy to do in this thing – and I rode. And I got off where she told me to and I went to find the train I knew, but the problem was, there was no elevator at this station.

You can’t possibly have felt this feeling. The feeling of being trapped, of being lost, of being helpless and alone, all at the same damn time. Imagine being in a ballroom. You have to go the bathroom, desperately. And there’s people all around you, and they’re living their lives. And they tell you where the bathroom is. And you go. And when you get there you realize you’re three inches tall, and there’s no way, no way, no way you can reach the knob. And beyond that, beyond that no one can hold it open for you because there’s a gap in the floor six inches wide and you can’t make that jump.

Imagine that. Imagine it. That’s how I felt. That’s how I felt, lost in New York.