BY PHILLY GRRL The thing about night school is, you’re practically brain dead when you get out from class. A typical workday coupled with three mind-numbing hours of lectures can leave one in a daze. At least that’s the excuse I use when people ask me why I almost got myself killed on the subway this past Monday. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I didn’t almost die. What I did do, however, was violate one of my number one SEPTA subway rule: Always exit in groups.
I tend to get lost very easily when it comes to the orange line. I’ve wandered in an out of half a dozen exits under City Halls for quite longer than necessary a couple of times. But even if I’m lost, I just ease my way behind some group that knows where its going and peddle along.
Monday night I stepped on the Broad Street Line at Cecil B. Moore and headed to Center City. In my haste to return home, I got off at the Race/Vine exit instead of City Hall. Now let me explain something. Race/Vine is my usual stop. But I never, ever get off after at that stop after dark. Nobody ever seems to around. That place is as dead as can be. Certainly any SEPTA employee that may have been there has long gone home. It’s the kind of place that always makes you walk a little extra fast when you exit, even during the day time.
It’s only as the subway pulls away that I realize my mistake. I look around. Nobody’s there. I walk up the stairs fast. It’s as I’m headed towards the staircase to the exit that I start thinking gruesome thoughts or murder, rape and the like. As I go up the stairs, I realize one other passenger is also exiting with me. I job up the stairs with an alacrity that surprises me. Then midway up the stairs, before I can react, the man turns around abruptly and blocks my exit. “Didn’t think you were going to be so sexy,” he says. My brain freezes but my legs keep moving. I walk past him. He doesn’t stop me. I start breathing again.