* An 8th Avenue-bound L train got stalled at 1st Avenue sometime before 9:00 this morning. The backup became tremendous.
* At Lorimer, the station agent announced that, due the jam, Manhattan-bound trains would be running on the Brooklyn bound track. A thousand of us grinded through the sweaty transfer tunnels.
* A Manhattan-bound train promptly arrived on the Manhattan-bound track. We were tricked. We watched helplessly from the opposite platform as our train departed.
* Back through the tunnels, this time merging with a stream of unwitting passengers transferring from the G train.
* A train! And it’s the proper train. Most of us are able to board.
* There is a crush at Bedford. An old woman is vigorously jostled onto the train. Someone from the middle eventually screams “that’s enough!”
* We are on our way. Someone throws the emergency brake between 1st and 3rd. Air brakes sound, we fall together as a mass.
* Stuck. A train operator is sent onto the tracks, to investigate.
* 25 minutes in I accidentally brush knees with the man sitting in front of me. It is a crowded train, this kind of thing happens, and I mumble the standard noise of apology. He threatens to injure me if I do it again. Drops his hood over his eyes and slouches back back, jutting his knees forward, some kind of dare to start a brawl on this train where there isn’t even room to swing a fist without elbowing five people in the face.
* I remain still for fifteen minutes, taking care with my knees. I read. The train is moving again, and there is no further trouble.
This is the problem with L-train serviced Brooklyn. A single point of failure. Where I live, if you don’t like your train, take a different one. If you don’t like that one, take the third one.