Author's note: New York City's subway system has a considerable amount of routes, running 24 hours a day. Working, but not living in the city, I have ridden on many of them, although not nearly all. I say this only to give some credence to my statement that I don't believe that these subways ever get more crowded than the train described in this brief true story.
In addition, riding without holding on or leaning on a door on the New York system can be accomplished with a minimum of effort. The PATH subway line, which is described below, has a variety of sharp twists and turns and it is virtually impossible for the average commuter to take the trip from NJ to NY without holding on (sometimes for your dear life!)
The PATH line begins at Newark, NJ, moves on, and has stops at Harrison, Journal Square, Grove, and Exchange Place, before heading on the last leg of its trip to its final destination at the World Trade Center in New York. The trains run approximately 10 minutes apart, and during the morning rush hour, there are two special 'express' runs. On the 'specials', the trains do not make any of the stops between Newark and NY. The reason for these trains is that 95% of the passengers on this line board at the Newark station.
I was on the train platform, waiting for the 7:30 a.m. 'express', standing alongside hundreds of others.
Although I am not one of those guys who ogle and stare at every beautiful girl in his presence, as a normal man I have, at times in my life, become aware of a great looking girl and have taken notice. However, always, after a short admiring look, I have moved on.
On this day, while waiting for this 'special express' train, I was suddenly taken aback by sudden beauty. There on the platform, amidst the scores of people, my eyes encountered what I can only describe as the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen. Movie stars, models, in person, you name it; this girl was it!
She was only about 10 feet to my right but unfortunately, I could only get a full view of the upper third of her body. Nevertheless, what I saw was enough to leave a lasting impression that I know I will never forget. Her blonde hair came down almost to her shoulders and the puffy perm gave the awesome beauty of her face an angelic look. She seemed to be about 18 to 20 years old, and stood about 5' 8" and weighed about 120 pounds.
Awaiting the arrival of the train, my eyes kept returning to her. At one point, I was able to see that she was dressed in a somewhat low-cut red satin dress with tiny white flowers. I determined that she had a bosom that was befitting her beauty.
The train was delayed, and the crowd kept increasing. It had become so crowded that she became hidden entirely from my view.
Finally, after a 5-minute delay the empty train turned into the station. The swell of the crowd was already moving me against my will. When it came to a stop, I was only about 15 feet from the door but was surrounded by dozens of people, pushing and shoving, all eager to see if they could squeeze on.
The doors of the empty train remained closed longer than normal and the crowd was all thinking the same thought; as soon as the doors flew open, try to force one's way forward to be able to get inside. People were scrunching forward and sideways as best that they could under these conditions; inch by inch.
Suddenly the doors popped open and I felt my body being moved along. Even if I wanted, I would not have been able to stop myself at that point. I was slowly being carried along and being crushed into the subway car, fighting to hold my balance. Tighter and tighter, the mass of human beings pushed against each other.
In addition to seats, which are filled within seconds by the first of the pouncing crowd, the trains also have ceiling to floor poles and overhead bars to hold on to for support during the trip to NY. I was about a foot or so away from a pole ... in limbo. The car was so crowded I was not able to move. If I couldn't hold onto something during the trip, I would undoubtedly be knocked on my ass from some of the violent twists that the train would take.
A force of pressure from the mass of bodies was still pushing behind me, inching me toward the pole, but there were shoulder-to-shoulder people surrounding and holding on to it already. My only hope was if I could at least reach over a shoulder, that I would be able to grab it with my fingertips, for some support.
A buzzer sounded, indicating that the doors of the train were closing in the hundred or so people that were squeezed inside.
Finally, the doors were closed and slowly the train began to move. Even that small movement forward rocked me a bit on my feet. It was imperative that I grab on to the pole. My arm stretched and strained outward, using every ounce of strength that I had. Finally, straining and stretching to the limit, I was able to make contact, my fingertips barely able to hold on to it. My whole body now seemed totally locked in one spot. My arm was not quite over a shoulder; it was more like it was reaching around the topside of an arm...
Suddenly, realization hit me.
If I had to make up a story about this, I would not have been able to dream of a more unbelievable tale. For not only did the arm that I was reaching over belong to the model/actress blonde, but (and only a regular rider on this train will recognize what I'm saying as the truth) with her back to me and me being directly behind, I found myself pushed against her, as tight as any two human beings could possibly get. Recognizing this I forced my body off hers. From behind, the crush of human flesh was continuing its pressure against me.
.... There is more of this story ...
True Story /