Thursday, September 26, 2013

Don't run for the trains

Today was a rough day. I had a lot of errands to run in every corner of the city. Nothing went the way I had planned either. I needed to go make photocopies at work for my classes on Tuesday, but the office was closed when I got there. I had a job interview, and even though they liked me, they weren't hiring non-E.U. citizens. I forgot my water bottle, and was really dehydrated. In total I had spent four hours of my day commuting, and accomplished nothing.
I was in Nuevos Minesterios at the end of my last task of the day, which is just one train stop away from Sol (one of the stations near my apartment). It's only a 3 minute train ride, but the train comes every 10 minutes, so when I saw that the train was in the station while I was still on the escalator, I ran for it. My cheapo shoes had no grip, it was difficult to gain any momentum, I was less than a meter from the door, when BAM the doors slammed shut. The traction of my shoes didn't work any better when trying to stop, and I slid smack into the train, and my leg fell down into the crack between the train and the platform. I tried to get my leg out, knowing that the train would pull away at any moment, but I was stuck. A man grabbed me around my torso, and yanked me, freeing my leg from its trap. A buzzer sounded, and the train doors flew open again. Security officers were running towards me, and the people on the car I had just slammed into were screaming. All I could register were the hands of the man who had helped me around my waist, they were now steadying me so I could stand on my own.
The man who had just helped me, gently put his hand on my back, and guided me onto the train, the man sitting in the seat closest to the door, stood up letting me take a seat. The train felt deafeningly silent. I didn't know which man had helped me, I had forgotten to look at his face, all I had seen were his hands. I said thank you, to everyone around me, I hope the person who helped me knew I meant him as well. When I got to Sol, I exited the train, and headed back to my apartment, I was very dazed, and the walk home felt surreal.
My roommate saw me as I walked in the door, and asked what had happened. I hadn't looked at my leg yet, so I hadn't noticed that two yellow bruises had formed, and a trail of blood was forming down my shin. She's a nurse, so before I could reply, she ran to her room and got the necessary things to clean the scrapes. I was still staring at my leg when she came back, and as I tried to explain what had just happened, I started to cry. My Spanish was useless in my emotional state, and she doesn't speak any English, but she hugged me and patted me on the back. She cleaned my cuts, and gave me a bag of frozen peas to put on my swollen ankle, and I waited for Ben to come home. I sat there not sure what to do all alone in my kitchen staring at my feet, wondering how on earth I still had both shoes...

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