November 05, 2005
At the end of the night on Wednesday, after drinking with this person and this person and this person, among others, I worked my way to the 14th Street 1/2/3 stop to wait for the train to take me uptown. After peering south down the express track and seeing no evidence of an approaching train, I reached into my man purse for my iPod ... and it promptly slipped from my fingers and down onto the tracks:
I wasn’t about to jump down to retrieve it without being absolutely sure I’d be able to get back up again very quickly. I’ve seen the occasional news stories about New Yorkers who’ve jumped down to the tracks to fetch a dropped cellphone only to be crushed by several thousand tons of high-speed metal. I don’t want the end of my life to serve as a cautionary tale about modern man’s dangerously misguided worship of technology. I just like listening to music on my iPod.
So I stood there for a few minutes pondering what to do. I decided I’d wait until right after the next express train left the station and then recruit a couple of strong men to spot me as I jumped down. I waited five minutes, then ten, before realizing that all express trains were apparently being routed to the local track. And then I spotted my opportunity: A very tall man, maybe six-foot-six, walked by with a burly friend. I approached them and sheepishly asked if they’d help me up from the tracks after I’d retrieved my iPod. But without any prompting from me, the tall guy simply jumped down to the tracks, grabbed the iPod, and hoisted himself back up. I thanked him, and as he and his friend started to walk away, I pulled out my wallet so I could give him a twenty or something. But he refused. Thanks, iPod Man, whoever you are.