A continuation of New York stories:
Mary and I went out for dinner one last time together in the city. We'd had the worst time deciding where to go because it was POURING out–it had been all day. Feeling adventurous and longing to spend every last second experiencing the city that I could, I suggested braving it. Who cares if we're wet? We've got all of New York to choose from, why bother going a block away?
It was settled. We walked the usual 4 blocks to the subway and stood under the awning waiting for a train. My pants were soaked. Mary hadn't brought a jacket, her sweatshirt was soaked. I felt stiff and uncomfortable holding my wet umbrella. I wasn't going to let it bother me. Despite the fact that it was still daylight, the train was taking forever.
Eventually it arrived and we boarded the first car. It wasn't packed. We easily got a seat. Beginning at 122nd St the train was engulfed by a tunnel that took us underground. There was nothing in the way of a meal at this point.
Until the train stopped. We must have been somewhere around 88th St. Perhaps it was a delay. A few minutes later the engineer came through the car holding a flash light and caused a bit of commotion. An announcement came over the car telling us that we were delayed until further notice. Thanks for that. A man got up, moved to the other end of the car and put on a shawl, a box on his forehead and began praying. Luckily I'd knew what was going on from my Jewish class. This freaked the kid across from us out. He began asking the engineer if they we were going to be alright. “Is everything ok?! What's going on?! Is there a national disaster?”
Unlike my normal self, I wasn't nervous. Mary and I had no where we had to be. We were just along for the ride, and perhaps the eventual food. Every once and a while the train would start, move a few feet and halt. Through a series of other announcements we eventually found out that the tracks had flooded. The water had gotten so high that it would not allow an electric car to run. Mary and I began to change our thinking. Our food selection was now limited. “I'm so cold, I sure could use some mashed potatoes.” “Me too. Comfort food…”
About an hour later a “rescue train” was sent for us. It backed up to our train and after going through about 20 cars we eventually found ourselves seats on the new train. I have to admit, I was thoroughly disappointed that we didn't get to walk in the actual subway tunnel. Despite the fact that it would have been the dirtiest thing I can imagine, I feel it would have completed the experience.
We eventually emerged at 96th St and began searching for something–anything–to satisfy the hunger that had intensified during our being rescued.
And there it was. A Country Chicken restaurant specializing in chicken and mashed potatoes. I think it was perhaps the best meal I'd had in the city. Perhaps.
We walked home.