Love lessons from mass transit: Letting the A train pass
Nearly every morning as I ride the C from Brooklyn to work in midtown, the train stops underground between stations and waits. “Sorry for the delay,” says the announcer since the C, in addition to taking so long to arrive that you despair of life, will also be one of the last lines in the MTA’s fleet to be fitted with new cars and an automated voice. “An express A train is passing ahead of us. Please be patient.”
It is at this juncture in my commute that the A (the express) and the C (local) become one with the same track. And the A always gets preference. The C always gives way.
Now stay with me but doesn’t this sound like some very fucked up relationship metaphor? Like the A is some alpha male and the C is some kind of Stepford Wife?
Always let him have the last word.
Always let him think he’s right.
Always wait for him to call you. (Or in the modern parlance — text you.)
Always let him pass in front of you on the tracks.
According to this logic, the C would never be able to call the A. Never. Not even if to prevent an accident because what greater accident can there be than to have him think you’re desperate? C train, you’re not desperate. Just a day late (give or take) and a couple of cars short.
Sounds like The Rules authors, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider write the MTA’s manual. (Come to think of it, they probably wouldn’t approve of this site.)
If I was in charge of the C, I would never let the A pass. NEVER.
Perhaps this is why I am single.