G train. Amazing how many people ride the train all night in New York. Actually the G is the only train in the New York system that does NOT enter Manhattan. Consequently it seemed dirtier and broke down more often than any other train I rode regularly. Anyway, I rode it alot at night for various needs I had to fulfill at the time.

So its 4 am on the G. Car is a little over half full, most people lightly dozing or completely out, one guy snores loudly, I nod in and out. I'm sitting near the end of the car by the door to the next car. My favorite seat at the time and I had it alone. All is good.

First: a long sermon by a Black Muslim about white oppression. I stop listening halfway through and am surprised when he stops in front of me on his way to the next car. He holds out his donation can smiling and says 'honey, you're allowed to contribute too.' I laugh and say I'm so very flattered but unfortunately broke.

Second: a homeless sandwich guy - you know they ask for donations and give out baloney sandwiches to any hungry person - gives his spiel and moves his way down the car. He gets more coins than the previous guy. He also stops in front of me and stands there for a long moment without speaking. I look up, he lowers his voice and asks me if I need a sandwich. I shake my head no. He asks if I have people to stay with. I shake my head yes. He is not as funny as the first guy.

Third: the train hits the long dark tunnel and slows down to a crawl, then a stop, then a crawl. Then again a stop. Its at least 10 minutes before the speaker squawks something about a momentary delay. We sit. The lights go out and on and out. 15 minutes. Another statement about moving any moment. Another 5 minutes pass. Everyone is awake now and the tension begins. Its been 30 minutes! Its 4:30 in the morning! C'mon already! Another squawk but its different, this time the conductor sounds really pissed off, "Listen here. We could be moving but it seems someone decided to WALK out of the tunnel. We now have to wait until they are found before we can move. (Everyone in the car groans). (The conductor is almost shouting now, his words very sharp and clipped) If anyone else decides to get off this train I will personally come after you. Remain where you are! Another 10 minutes crawl by and its 5:30 by the time I make it home.

- Melinda