I’m late. I rush down the subway steps and just make it onto the train as the doors close. It’s crowded and smelly and I’m hot and sticky from running. There’s no place for me to sit down so I hang onto a pole and try to keep myself upright as the train gathers speed. Glancing around at the passengers with a some what patronizing half smile on my face, I start to go over the agenda in my head for meeting I’m late to. I need to check a point on the agenda so I open my bag. There is no agenda. There is no paperwork. I am not prepared for the meeting that I’m late to. The announcer’s voice breaks through my panic to announce the next stop.
And this is when I realize I’m on the wrong train.
And that it is an express and it has passed my stop.
I’m late. I’m on the wrong train. And I am now six stops in the wrong direction for my meeting.
I think I’m keeping it together but the passengers are watching me slowly freak out. As the squeal of the train against the tracks signals the next stop, I can only hear, ‘I’m on the wrong train. I’m on the wrong train.’ Screaming in my head to the same rhythm of the wheels against the tracks. I start to mumble it under my breath. The staring gets worse.
Crap. I’ll just get off the subway and grab a cab, I think. I check for my wallet to see if I have enough for a cab but I don’t have it. I don’t have my wallet or any spare change. I don’t have anything but my messenger bag, my stupid messenger bag that doesn’t have the agenda or the paperwork for the meeting.
Flustered, I push myself through the passengers to find a map and scan it for the upcoming track. Is it one that will let me transfer without leaving the station? It is. I am briefly relieved. I don’t have the funds for another token and maybe there will be a train going uptown.
The train I’m on lurches to a stop and I am swept off the train with the crowd. The train I want, the train on the other track squeals into the station. Panicked, I fight up to the top of the steps; across the bridge and down the other side just as the train doors are closing. I manage to get half my arm into the opening and it recoils just enough to let me in. I’m on it. I breathe and look around. This train is also crowded. I stand next to the connecting door between the cars and lean against the wall and try to relax and breathe.
Suddenly, I realize I need to change my pants. For some reason, I must change my pants right now. On the train.
I unzip them and try to pull them down. But I’m sweaty and my pants are tight and stick to my legs. I struggle, pushing them down slowly, inch by inch. I get them down to my feet but, for some reason, I forgot to take off my shoes. I struggle to get them over my shoes. The passengers are looking. I’m trying to ignore them as I continue to struggle with my pants. Then I hear the squawk of the announcer letting us know the next stop is coming up. My stop. My pants are stuck on my shoes. I can’t get them off. The passengers are watching me. I am unable to move and I have to get off the train right now…
It’s usually at this point I wake up, heart racing, sweat dripping and just a little too wound up for 3am. I’ve had this dream as long as I can remember. It’s this dream or some variation of it; I’m late. I get on the wrong train/car/bus/boat going the wrong way without my important papers for my important meeting that I’m late for. I get off the wrong train/car/bus/boat and onto the right train/car/bus/boat and then, I have to take my pants off.
I never remember to remove my f-ing shoes first.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me