I stood at the stairs to the 7 as a flood of people emerged from the Manhattan-bound tracks. "No trains," a man said. I considered walking to the E, finding a cab, or taking a shuttle that likely wasn't running.
At the periphery of the ejected masses, a young woman announced that a Suburban was coming to take her to 25th and Park. I hopped in the backseat with her and one other girl, and we made a final invitation to passersby before driving south.
As the car drove into the Tunnel, the girls looked into their phones. I imagined emails detailing train troubles and late arrivals. We started talking fare and exchanging cash, but we exchanged names first. The driver interjected, "I'm Benny."
"I canceled the ride," he told us. We continued passing paper bills between leather wallets and leather-covered hands. "No, no. I canceled the ride!" he said again. We paused and looked forward at the back of Benny's head and the reflection of his eyes in the rear-view mirror. We looked at each other. We objected. We asked that he please let us give him something. "No, no. You guys helped each other out, so I'm helping you out."
We slowly returned the bills to their respective wallets. The girl sitting next to me, whose name I can't recall but whose many gold rings I remember, said that when she saw the train was down, she thought it was going to be a horrible day. The other girl and I began to agree when Benny interrupted, "They're all good days - even when they're bad."