Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Hey, That Light? At the End of the Tunnel? That's the C Train!"

You know that scene in the Daredevil movie where Ben Affleck, - - dressed in a Daredevil costume that looks like it was designed by Revlon - - says to the criminal he has pinned on the subway tracks...

"Hey, that light? At the end of the tunnel?
Guess what? That's not heaven...
That's the C train!"


Well, I suffered through that. The movie and being stuck on the subway tracks with the train approaching.

Today, I had a meeting at DePaul with a potential new board member. I left my office a little after 3:00 p.m. and walked over to the Red Line subway station at Lake and State Street.

As usual, the train was delayed, so by the time it actually arrived at the station, there were a ton of people waiting.

I was one of the last people to enter the car, and just as I was walking into the train, it happened...

My iPod slipped out of my hand, jerked loose from my earbuds and fell into the crack between the train and the platform.

I'm sure that I said about a million four letter words, because the woman in front of me stared at me with absolute pity. I stepped off the train, let the doors close and the train pass by in case there was any way that my iPod was at the bottom of the tracks unharmed.

And to my luck - - or not - - it was. I could see it laying right beside the rail. Unharmed.

You're right. You know what happened next. I jumped down onto the tracks to get my iPod.

It wasn't until I actually touched the rail with my foot that it occurred to me that I really wasn't sure which one of the rails the fully electrified "third rail" is. Again, I was lucky and the first rail wasn't electrified.

So, I put my iPod onto the platform and tried to hoist myself back up. But I couldn't quite make it.

Now, you Chicagoans know that when the train is delayed, it usually arrives at the station already completely packed and the conductor always says that there is another trail directly behind this train. And usually, it's absolute bullshit.

But not today. Today, there was a train directly behind the train I stepped off of. And it was coming into the State and Lake station. Fast.

I took my bag off my shoulder, threw it onto the platform and tried to hoist myself up. Again, no luck.

The train was coming closer.

I tried again and again to hoist my self up. No luck, no luck, no luck. And all I could hear in my head was Ben Affleck saying that stupid line about the C Train. I thought I was going to be a dinner party story for fanboys across the nation...

"Tell the one about that gay guy who was plowed over
by the subway train just like in the Daredevil movie!!!"


And then suddenly, he appeared. My knight in shining armor.

Well, my knight in a Chicago Cubs t-shirt. But I'm not one to complain.

He walked over to me, held out his hand and said, "Right here, dude." He helped me up and I was barely able to say, "Thank you," before he was gone. Disappeared. Like all heroes who save damsels in distress.

Or homosexuals who drop their iPods on the subway tracks.

So, no more bitching about Cubs fans for me. At least for a little while. The station was relatively full of people and he was the only one who came to my aid.

I've been known to blow a man for a meatball. Can you imagine what I would do for a man who saved my life?

29 comments:

Polt said...

this is a frightening, and happy ending tale all at once! but what I really want to know is...you blew a guy for a meatball? Where's THAT story??? :)

Glad you're okay.

HUGS...

David said...

Stephen! My heart stopped beating while I read this post! While I'd jump down to get my iPod too, I can't imagine life without my favorite cute gay blogger.

May the Cubs win every World Series until the Good Lord takes us all away. "Ay-meyin," as you know we say here in the South.

Stephen Rader said...

polt - You really don't want the meatball story. It's not pretty. Well, I'm not pretty in it, anyway.

david - Thank you!!! For your concern and for calling me "cute." I needed that!!! Especially from a cute Southern boy. :)

Aaron said...

Oh my God, Stephen, I only just read this...I wish one of us had been there--you know WE would have grabbed you right away! Well, at least long enough to grab the iPod and the duffle bag. ;-)

I can't believe NOBODY else even offered their hand. Whatta buncha fuckheads.

I'm glad you're OK!!!

Bob said...

Holy shit - that's scary! Glad you're ok.

My mp3 player fell between the train and the platform once, but it was an elevated track, so it fell onto the busy street below where I ran through traffic to get it. So, I understand your decision to jump into the tracks totally.

Mike Ellis, The Jolly Reprobate said...

Scary story.

And "blow a man for a meatball..." Allusion to Victor/Victoria, right?

the joy said...

Stephen! You could have died!!! I'm very upset with you right now. You lived my worst nightmare. I just wondered to myself last night. if my phone flew onto the tracks would I get it? Don't ever do that again! *shakes fist*

I'm glad you're ok though. Please don't tell your mom about this. I'm sure she'll have the same reaction.

roborange said...

Crazy story. Too bad you can't find the hero to reward him over and over
again.

Java said...

Aaaahhhh!!!
Glad you made it out alive. Damn, Stephen! Praise be to the Cubs angels.

Alanda said...

Jesus! I'm glad you're ok!
xoxox

Project Christopher said...

WOW,
I saw a high school student, who was in JROTC, but dressed in formal uniform, jump on the track when his hat flew out of his hand (this was the Irving Park blue line) but it was like time stopped for everyone when they saw him do it. No harm and he jumped right back up, but I think of him every time I nearly drop something on a platform.

Of your Cubbie Fan hero, PAY IT THE FUCK FORWARD! You know you will never see him again, but you owe it to him to do an equal task that you wouldn't normally do. But that's hard in your case as your heart of gold is in the right place. And sexual acts don't count.

Anatomicsd said...

It will not do at all for you to get yourself killed before I make it to Chicago to meet you.

Next time Fuck the iPod. I'll send you a new one.

JB said...

OMG! I would have totally done the same thing! Glad you are safe!

Shirley Heezgay! said...

you crazy homosexualist!

you must promise to never ever do that again! a full grown man and you just let him walk away? how could you!

btw, iPods are, like, super cheap these days. next time you do something insane like that, i'll make a special trip to chicago just to smack you.

Michael said...

I'm glad you are okay!!!!!
Now don't EVER DO THAT AGAIN!

cb said...

What. Were. You. Thinking???

Never go on those tracks!!!!!!

And ALWAYS make sure your iPod is securely in a pocket!

Man, you nearly gave me a heart attack.

Master Aaron said...

First of all, thank God you're okay. Wanda would have come to Chicago and beaten the whole damn city to death. And DON'T TELL HER ABOUT THIS! That said, I once jumped onto the train tracks to retrieve the sides for a callback I was on my way to attend. Oh, and my arm was broken, so I was in a cast. What's that say about us, Stephen? Just because rednecks know what to do behind the station doesn't mean they should be allowed on the platform. NOW DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!

Bunny said...

OMG! I'm so glad that you are okay AND your iPod is safe.

All I could think of reading this was the BEST. EPISODE. EVER. of Homicide: Life on the Street, BEST. TV. SHOW. EVER.

Lance Noe said...

yeah, yeah, yeah! thank god you're safe!


NOW

YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT!

whimsical brainpan said...

Damn Stephen! I'm glad you are ok. Doesn't surprise me one bit that the place was full but only one person was willing to help. Most people are assholes, but there are guys like Mr. Cubs fan to make up for it thankfully.

Skerry said...

De-lurking to say I would have been devastated had the train squashed you. I read you everyday...it would totally screw up my screw off time at work if you were to be squashed. Glad you had a helping hand.

TigerYogiji said...

Ai-Ya! For an Ipod?!!! You were very, very lucky Hon! Glad to hear that you're safe!

Aaron said...

Remind me to save your life sometime...;-)

james said...

Dear Stephen:

Are you crazy???? Do you have any idea how long trains would have been delayed throughout all of downtown and thru rush hour, had you been hit by a train??? All these people who love you would not have spoken so kindly of you if you had been the cause of their hour-long delays and reroutes, etc. when they were trying to get home from work!

And who cares about the third rail -- there's some big-ass rats down there! They could have chewed your foot off!

Don't hate me, but the newsman in me says this would have made a hell of a story. Oh well, it's bound to happen some day, to someone...

All that being said, seriously, if say today or tomorrow you leave your ipod behind in a bar or store or wherever and it is soon gone, wouldn't you feel stupid for nearly losing your life trying to rescue it earlier this week?

All of us do thing sometimes without thinking of what could happen, but please, be careful out there.It would kinda suck if you were killed.

Ryan Barrett said...

I am glad you are okay, Mr. Rader.

Danifesto said...

I'm just now letting out the breath I've been holding while reading this post. (the ending wasn't that much of a shocker as obviously you had lived to tell the tale!) But still! Very dramatic and well told! You are going to KILL at the next cocktail party!
Seriously glad you're okay.

Bill Hawley said...

I'm glad that Cubs guy came along when he did. I'd chastise you, but everyone else has already done it and I suspect I would have done the same thing to retrieve my iPhone.

Kristie said...

Personally I would have left the Ipod would've given me an excuse to buy something newer and cooler. Yes whatever you do do not tell your mother about this, she would totally kick your butt then hug you to death since nothing happened.
Thanks to Mr. Cubby for saving my fav cousin, wouldn't know what to do without you.

Stephen S. said...

I'm a little behind on the blogs...

i love this story. This is so something that would have happened to me. Glad you are okay.

Say crack again...