New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, after 5pm, is buzzing and bustling. Rush hour is kicking in, and everyone is in a hurry. Lines are snaking off the different gates, sometimes intertwining with each other in a manner that can make one catch himself standing at a queue, going elsewhere than where he imagined.
On one such a hasty evening, I found myself on the third floor of the terminal, hoping to catch the 5:15pm bus back home. My gate was number 313, and by the time I got there, a long line had already formed. Like the untangling of a knot, I followed the queue with my eyes, until I found where it ended. Stepping behind the last man standing, I was pretty sure it was the right place. Thus, when another commuter arrived moments later, stood behind me and asked, “Is this for the 5:15pm bus?” I honestly replied, “I sure hope so…” The person took it for a yes. When a breathless woman appeared seconds after and asked him, being that he was now the last in line, “Is this is the line for Gate 313?” he confidently answered in the affirmative. More people arrived, asking about the line, the destination and the gate. All were confirmed that they were at the right place.
It suddenly doomed on me the responsibility that rested on my shoulders; if I had made a mistake, it seemed that a whole lot of the people, standing in line behind me, may miss their bus. I could see the headlines of tomorrow’s news: A Passenger is Lynched by an Angry Mob of Commuters, for Disclosing Incorrect Gate information. But it also reminded me of a bumper sticker I once saw: Don’t follow me, I am lost too. Maybe it is time I purchase a T-Shirt with that line printed on the back. But then again maybe I should not, as I also favor a quote by Tom Holt, (In Your Dreams book): “If nobody ever got lost, they never have discovered America.”
What criteria of people do I fall into?
Either way, me and a whole lot of other people, made it home that evening just fine.
Learned from: a bus line at the Port Authority Bus Terminal