I think it would be safe to say that most everyone living in Boston and its close environs has taken the subway, the ”T” as it’s referred to, at least once. Boston has a great mass transit system and in my humble opinion, it's much better than the one I grew up with in New York City. (Never mind its infrastructure, but I digress.) I don’t think many of the “uppah crust” of NYC venture down below to travel through its bowels unless they absolutely have to, but it does seem to be different here in Beantown. There is definitely a good cross section of residents hopping the trains, and they do so at all hours. I always thought that a great way to get to know the people of one’s newly adopted city was to take the subway, and here that is surely the case.
What I wouldn’t recommend however, is getting up close and personal with the subway floor after falling down the subway steps. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I (stupidly) did. After finishing a day of very successful shopping, and carrying all my bags on one arm, I ran down the steps for what I heard to be an oncoming train. It’s all a blur to me now, but I think I remember losing my footing at about the third from last step. Holding on to my bags and nothing else, I tumbled down and over, hitting my head on the cold and grimy ground. My sunglasses went flying, as did the bags. I remember watching “Batman” on TV--pardon me for showing my age--back in the 60s. Every time the masked hero would unleash his strength upon a bad guy, an onomatopoeic word would appear on the screen in a cartoonish bubble. If I were on the show, I imagine a nice, big “Thwack!” would have popped up just as I hit the subway floor. Yes, it was that bad.
To make a very long story short, an angel of mercy on the train saw me sitting dazed and in pain and accompanied me to the hospital which luckily was at the next stop. Hours later I left the ER with a soft cast covering my fractured wrist, and three stitches over my eye. As I waited to be treated I couldn’t help thinking that my bad luck was instigated by something higher than myself. Was I the unfortunate recipient of the dreaded “evil eye,” the “kana hora” my dear mother always felt was the cause of any misfortune she suffered? Did someone spot and begrudge the beautiful new ring my husband had given me--I knew I shouldn’t wear it out. Was it someone who wanted to (and could not) escape from their life and envied me as I was finally becoming adjusted to and enjoying living out here? I have never been one to cave in to superstitions (like my mom...big time), and here I was doing just what I would ridicule her for doing! How could I be so shallow, so callous? Why could I not just accept the fact that I was a grade “A,” super class KLUTZ?!?
I am now one week into this one-handed life, and although my patience (like my radial bone) is wearing thin, I am learning to “deal.” My apartment needs cleaning, my dog needs walking, and my hair needs to be flat ironed. (While the first two are being taken care of, the latter sadly, is not.) I have come to terms with my accident and the superstitions that plagued me at the onset have given way to reason and common sense. I slipped, I fell. It’s as simple as that. I will not be wearing red string bracelets around my wrist to ward off evil spirits.
The good thing about the experience--yes, we must always look for the silver lining--was that I now know there are angels in Boston who will go out of their way for strangers. (I actually met two as a man initially helped me, and then Theresa who works at the Liberty Hotel took over.) My fall has not ruined my interest in taking the T. I will continue to travel the rails through town--it’s a great way to meet my neighbors. And the fact that I know there are real angels amongst them makes me love it even more.