Saturday, August 05, 2006

An Infernal Place

I have seen what hell is like. And I'd rather not go back.

I admit, I like to complain. I have also been in some very unpleasant situations. Perhaps some were worse that the one I found myself in last Thursday, but at this point I don't think so.

Last Thursday hell was at the 169th Street subway station in New York.

On that day it was about 105 degrees with an opressive humidity. It was much, much hotter in the subway station. Of course I walked down the stairs only to see the train I needed pull out of the station. So I sat on an uncomfortable wooden bench and watched the few people who made their way down into the station begin to wilt.

As I waited I became cognizant of every single sweat pore in my body. Why? Because every single one was engaged in releasing copious amounts of moisture in a futile attempt to cool my body. I discovered sweat emerging from places in my body that I never realized had sweat glands. Minid you, I have been in steam baths and saunas many times. In the daze that was coming over me I was morbidly fascinated by the beads of moisture that eminated from every possibly point in my body.

The stagnant air became suffocating. The only relief came when one of the four or five trains that were headed in the other direction entered and left the station for these were the only times the air moved at all.

In retrospect I should have gotten out of the station. The lightheadedness and fading vision were probably a warning that my body was not pleased with the situation. By then, however, clear thinking was beyond me and the hope that a train with its heavenly cool air would come to my rescue was the only thing pulsing through my mind.

So I waited.

And I began to drown in my sweat.

And then I waited some more.

I believe that it was after twenty or twenty five minutes after I first arrived that my passage out of that infernal place arrived.

The cool air inside the train revived me - to a point. As I began to rehydrate and regain clear thought, I felt as though I had been in a tumble drier. I was somewhat dizzy and disoriented.

It is now a few days later and I still feel somewhat in a daze.

I am certain that the station I was in is not the same station that is part of the NY subway system. Somehow I stumbled into some type of metaphysical warp that took me to an another place that while it looked like a subway station it was a locale of penance. It gave me a glimpse of a place in which no human should be.

I hope I never end up there again.

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