Updated: Mar 26, 2022
I have a sober friend who fell onto the subway tracks while completely drunk one night. It's one of those stories that really sticks with me. I've heard so many stories of horrific things that have happened, and it's kind of funny which ones hit home.
This hits home because I'm a New Yorker who used to ride the subways in blackouts and drunken states on a nightly basis. Of course, the NYC subway system isn't the safest place to be late at night, but when you're out of it, and oblivious to what's happening around you, the danger is magnified.
Add to that the possibility of a fall onto the tracks. Or getting in your head the grand idea that it'd be a good idea to smoke a cigarette or some weed in between cars.
Also, I wasn't aware of the third rail when I was new to New York and the subways. It's not terribly hard to imagine myself falling, and stumbling down there on the tracks, and getting electrocuted.
Heavy, I know. But, potentially, all too real Just because it never happened to me doesn't mean it never would if I picked up a drink.
One thing that has changed for me is that I've come to cherish and to respect the gift that is life. I used to treat my life like I was spinning a roulette wheel and hoping I wouldn't get hurt too badly - but I was giving my life over to chance, with bad odds!
As far as my friend goes - this was one of those moments that woke him up. He's sober and thriving. And he hasn't fallen onto the subway tracks again.
(photo credit - Neal Hemphill)