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[personal profile] redthroatedloon
When I go to work in the morning, I take the R train from the first stop in Brooklyn and change, a few stops later, for the N express. The N is usually fairly populated, sometimes full; this is, after all, the NYC subway at rush hour. I usually have to stand for the first couple of stops and then I can find a seat when a lot of people get off at Atlantic Ave./Pacific St., a hub for several train lines.

Today, I see there's a seat next to the window. I go over to it, and see there's a bundle of clothing there. It's not unusual for less mindful people to put their stuff on the seat, so I ask the woman seated next to it politely if it's hers. (Translation: If it is, take it off the seat, you bitch!). She says it isn't.

Well, I could just leave the clothing there and stand -- but I'm feeling obstinate, so I gingerly brush the clothing onto the floor. Much to my relief, there's nothing under it, and I sit. And notice that, under the seat perpendicular to mine, there's a grubby-looking cloth suitcase. I asked, and it doesn't belong to the woman sitting there, or to the woman sitting next to me. They seem unconcerned.


Now, I'm a native New Yorker, and like everyone else, (a) I've learned to mind my own business to avoid going totally insane, what with street musicians and beggers and obnoxious phone callers and the like, and (b) I've been bombarded by ads on public transportation urging people to notify somebody if you come across an abandoned bag. So after a brief momoment of doubt, during which I picture the several hundred subway riders who will hate my guts if they stop the train because of me, I get off at the next stop, jog over to the middle car, and tell the conductor.

She motions to a guy wearing bright cotton clothing, a neat beard, and a tiny earring in one ear. A musician? No, the subway dispatcher. I show him the bag and the loose clothing; he looks at it for a second, pulls it from under the seat, thanks me, and takes it off the train. I'm not sure what happens on the platform after that, but I notice some of the people watching him, so my assumption is that he put the case down and called the cops to take it away.

I lost my seat, but I had a nice conversation with a young woman about how she once found a backpack on a train, and I had fun wondering how anybody can comfortably sit on a subway train, especially after what happened in London and other countries, knowing there's a strange satchel under your seat...
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redthroatedloon: (Default)

July 2010

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