Thursday, July 20, 2006

It might as well have been the F train

Late last Friday night, my girlfriend and I transfered from the F to the C train on the way back from a Brooklyn birthday party when a sprinting young man busted through the closing doors. When the crowd of passengers roared, I thought it was due to his outstanding athletic skills and Indiana Jones-like escape tactics. It turned out the true refugee was his sneaker, which had either fallen off or had been wedged off by the closing doors.

For a moment, he stood in defeat and shock next to the closed doors with a black sneaker and a white tube sock pressing against the cold subway floor. A police officer on the platform held the sneaker in his hand, preparing to return it once a subway operator opened the doors.

But the doors never reopened, and the commuters roared like a Jerry Springer audience as the subway started rolling toward midtown Manhattan. Apparently, the shoe had other plans just footsteps from Jay Street-Borough Hall.

The moment was ripe for wagering on Shoeless Joe, sitting with head in hands in the last seat of the car. Passengers audibly bet on whether or not he would get off at the next stop and head back downtown in an effort to reunite left shoe with right. But upon our arrival at the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge platform, Shoeless Joe didn't budge. He and the shoe decided it was best to see other people.