short story, Travel

My Subway Stories – NY Tales from the Underground part 9

A Blast From The Past

The Shuttle
 

The Morning rush hour was another nightmare for commuters in New York City on September 25, 2015. Traffic was coming from all directions inside the Grand Central Terminal. It almost felt like being stuck in the middle of the expressway. As I walked up the wooden flooring of the complex to catch the 42nd Street Shuttle train, it was fun dodging other commuters as if I was playing at the MetLife Stadium.

The shuttle train on Track 1 was filled to the capacity so I had to wait for the next one. According to the subway time schedule, the next train would arrive in two minutes on Track 3. I was getting ready to read one of the articles in my amNewYork newspaper when someone shouted my name.

“Shamarie?”

I looked to my right and it was my childhood friend, Sean. We were best friends in elementary school and the most popular in the class. Most of our peers mistook us for cousins because of how much we act alike. They dubbed us “Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence”. Sean was a short, brown-skinned clean-cut dude with a great sense of humor. We were both 34 years old, but he looked 25. Like me, he also lived up to the phrase, “Black Don’t Crack”.

“Yo, what’s up? How are you doing?” I gave him a pound. “Wow, it has been a long time. The last time I saw you were on Broadway back in 2002.”

“I’m chillin’,” He smiled. “Are you still writing?”

“Yes, I’m still doing the writing thing!” I continued. “I have to perfect my craft. I’m doing freelance writing now. I recently sent out two manuscripts to two publishers and I am patiently waiting to hear from them. Are you still drawing? You had skills with the pencil and paint brush!”

“I’m a tattoo artist now!” Sean told me. “I work at a small shop in the Village. My best customers are from New York University! I put ink on some amazing-looking people! Take my card and visit the website so you can see my work!”

Finally, the shuttle raced inside the station. We boarded the train, sat down, and continued talking. We reminisced on our elementary school years and some of the old classmates we stayed in contact with through Facebook.

Four minutes later, the train rolled out of Track 3 bound for Times Square. It took two minutes for us to arrive at Times Square. The station was very busy and flooded with people rushing to catch the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E, N, R, and Q trains.

“It was great seeing you, playboy!” I said. “The Pope is at the United Nations so you know the East Side is crazy right now with gridlock!”

“Yeah, I know, he supposed to visit the September 11 Memorial & Museum and Madison Square Garden too!” Sean informed me. “He is shutting down the city!”

“The power of Pope Francis,” I jested. “Be safe, my dude!”

“Likewise!”

We hugged and said our goodbyes.

By Shamarie Knight, 30th Sep 2015

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