PATH Car Away From Ninevah I

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
With special dispensation in my pocket, I found myself on the PATH car heading from Exchange Place to Newark, full of people, okay, crowded, but moving along. It's only a 15-minute ride, so we'll play Charlie the Tuna for a few minutes.

How bad could it be?

At Journal Square we picked up more people than we dropped off and the place was so crowded we bled inside each other's wounds, so to speak.

That's when I noticed the youngish blond haired guy reading the newspaper. He was sitting in the last seat of the row near the door.

Next to him, standing like two deer in the headlights were two old people. They had to be in their 70s, or older.

The young guy read his paper. Then finished it and tucked it under his leg on the seat. He dug deep into his parachute pockets and began fiddling with ear phones and an electronic device the size of a cigarette lighter.

He seemed oblivious to the old people clinging to the safety bars at his right. He didn't see the wrinkled elbows just inches from his nose.

I've always felt that you are where you are because, because that's where you're supposed to be.

Somewhere past the place where the overseas containers are loaded on the rail frames and our next stop in Harrison, the train stopped.

I wondered should I ask the guy to let the old folks sit? Or should I mind my own business.

Perhaps I could ask to borrow his paper, and if it was in English, then ask him to help me read the sign he was sitting against... WON'T YOU PLEASE GIVE THIS SEAT TO THE ELDERLY OR DISABLED

The rules of the road seem to ignore what your mother might have told you about being a good boy.

Here, if you don't see someone in need, they don't exist.

It wouldn't surprise me if the blond guy drives his car the same way.

After we stood there a few minutes, stopped in the prairie, waiting without a word from the famous PATH speaker system, I realized this was all my fault.

We were stuck here in the middle of nowhere, and going nowhere fast all because of me. I was heading away from Ninevah, I was like Jonah trying to ignore my duty. Soon they'd cast lots and I'd be groveling in the gravel.

Without anybody saying anything, to me or to the blonde guy, I knew we'd be sitting here in the nether land until I dug into my pack, pulled out a pen and paper and told you what I see from where I stand.

Granny's elbow nearly took his eye out. But the blond guy sitting in the last row, he never noticed.

What would you do? You're on a crowded PATH car and it's stopped for no reason in the middle of nowhere. You don't know whether you'll be here another minute, five minutes, ten minutes, or over night?

Out the window we could see the billboard advertising a TV show: Criminal Minds.

Maybe we should wait until Granny passes out on the floor. Then we could step over her on our way out.

Would you get invovled?

Would you ignore it?

I looked at the blond guy's shirt and tried to read his company logo. Maybe it said D Drive?

Here in car 121 near the end of the PATH train we couldn't hear the conductor or read the script on the blond guy's shirt.

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Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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