Subway Stories: The Kindness of Strangers at Park Street

Park Street sign along with map of the MBTA subway lines.

Two weeks ago I got a lesson. To slow down. One of my worst traits is impatience. It’s a constant struggle.

If human beings are put on this earth to have experiences that will teach us lessons, then mine is probably to slow down and be patient. Thus the need for yoga and meditation.

Back to the story. I was switching from the Red Line at Park Street to catch an E Train on the Green Line. If you’ve taken the T and been on the E Line, then you know that those trains do not come frequently. The wait feels like forever.

So I started running. I’ve run for this train a bunch of times and have been perfectly fine. No incident. And I always make the train.

Usually I’m wearing sneakers or flats though. This time I forgot that I was not wearing sneakers or flats. I think it was really cold that day, so I was wearing my snow boots. I was too close to the yellow line as well. Someone stepped in front of me, so I tried to weave around them. Again, done this a million times, no problem.

This time, there was a problem. My balance was off because of the boots or being too close to the edge of the walkway or both, so I fell. As I was falling, I was thinking that this was so funny and stupid. Why was I in such a rush? I thought that I was just tripping and would be able to recover my balance. Unfortunately not.

Then I felt myself rolling over onto the train tracks. At the same time I’m thinking, “Oh no,” and “I hope I didn’t break anything.” Luckily I fell forwards with my hands out and not backwards. I had on very thick leggings. My boots are very puffy. So is my coat. I had on a hat and gloves, so I was mostly covered up and protected.

I think I may have been in shock, because I was just lying on the tracks trying to get my bearings. I don’t remember if it was me actively trying to get up and people grabbing my hands as I reached up or people just grabbing my hands and pulling me up. Either way, there were two sets of hands pulling me up.

It must have been quite the sight for people to see. There’s probably a crazy looking video too.

Anyway, two strangers were kind enough to grab me and pull me up off the train tracks. For them I am eternally grateful. Luckily there wasn’t a train coming.

I twisted my left ankle and it’s still a bit painful, but not too bad. I really ripped up my right knee. It’s still raw and I’m wearing bandages everyday, but it’s healing.

I’ve had to walk slower than my normal pace due to my ankle and knee. It was not worth running for the train. Sure, I would have missed it, but I would have made the next train, which I ended up on anyway — and without the injuries.

Needless to say, when I have a choice between rushing or not, I’m trying to slow down — my eternal lesson. It’s still not easy for me. I don’t know if it ever will be easy. But I keep trying.

Thank you to the two kind strangers! I may never know your names, but I appreciate that you  pulled me up and got me back on my feet.

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Updated 3/26/2017Universal Hub picked up this post and you can see it by clicking here.

6 thoughts on “Subway Stories: The Kindness of Strangers at Park Street”

  1. You made Universal Hub with this story, Lisa. Glad to hear you came out of it OK. You didn’t even mention the possibility of being fried on the third rail if you fell in such a way as to possibly make contact. Thank God for your rescuers! By the way, for my own experience in the pit (Washington Street – now Downtown Crossing – for me, and I did it voluntarily) see my reply to a comment on the U-Hub thread.

    • Jim – Yes, I saw it! Luckily it was the Green Line tracks and not the Red Line. Otherwise I would have been way more injured I’m sure.

  2. OH MY GOODNESS Lisa – scary ! I am so glad this ended as well as it did . . . such a good lesson for me – thank you so much.

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