Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mr. Q

Tonight I looked forward to switching trains at Times Square. I got out of class on time and was waiting for the Q train on the platform a little before 9:30. That's usually when he arrives and I hoped I would see him. It's been a few months.

The Q train pulled in and there he was. My favorite conductor. I don't know his name, but he has a wonderful voice and he always cheerfully announces all the stops and possible transfers along the route. He's what every subway conductor should be. Polite, helpful, and easy to understand.

He also looks and sounds just like one of my favorite children's book authors, Daniel Pinkwater. Somehow it wouldn't surprise me if Daniel Pinkwater was a subway conductor. I can imagine that the author of Lizard Music, The Hoboken Chicken Incident, and The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death would probably be up for riding the rails at night.

Once, over the summer I was on his train and his voice coming over the PA system sounded tired and down. I was riding in the car with his little booth tucked into the corner. When I got out at my stop, I went over to his window and told him he had the greatest voice. He perked up, "No one's told me that in years."

I love him.

If I knew his name I'd write a letter to the MTA and try to nominate him for some kind of outstanding conductor award. It may seem like a small thing, but most of the conductors come on the PA to scold riders and scream as if we are naughty children, "Stop holding the doors! I'm not moving this train until you let go!" It's great to have someone who is professional and kind. Especially at the end of a 14 hour day.

Mr. Q. Train Man, you've got a huge fan.


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