I got on at West 4th. I know I got on at West 4th. I recall watching out the doorway as passengers got on at Canal, the next stop.
Then I returned my attention to the essay I had been reading.
I did not recall the train ever stopping for very long. I looked up from time to time, people were on the train, everything seemed fine.
I didn't feel the train start moving in the opposite direction.
When, I looked up again, to check the trains progress. My gazed was transfixed on the platform. It looks like Canal St. again. The bird sculptures. Those are the bird sculptures aren't they? I didn't catch the sign. Someone stepped in my way. But I had this feeling the train was going the wrong direction. I couldn't see the sign at the next stop, but I was transfixed by the thought that I'd missed out on an entire period of time. Somewhere. Sometime ago. I had switched trains.
There was no denying it, because I remember so well getting on at West 4th. The train had a C on the end of it? Not an E. Only the E goes backwards so soon in Manhattan.
At the next stop I saw the weird friction worn sculptures. Union Square, I knew. I was on the wrong train.
Confusion and disorientation gave way to relief.
I had gotten on to the wrong train.
Or had I?
Every now and again, I get lost on the trains. Not intentionally mind you. I don't set out to get lost and see the city. Somehow, somewhere, my attention lapses, time dissappears and I'm somewhere I hadn't planned.
Sometimes its refreshing. Today, it was a bit frightening. A simple mistake.
Perhaps the first car did say C. Perhaps my memory isn't as foggy as it seemed just a short while ago.