a train divided

The 5:00 to Boston was running 20 minutes late, but the ticket taker on board was in a jovial mood. He chatted with the woman behind me sporting a Yankees cap, her voice husky from cheering A-Rod on to his 500th. “Just you wait,” said the man reassuringly as he punched tickets, “they’ll be in first place in a month.” I furrowed my brow and glanced at the high-school aged boy across the aisle, and he shook his head as if to say, “don’t listen to him.” As the ticket taker moved down the aisle, he said more loudly, “we might be headed to Boston, but this is a Yankee train! Ha ha!” A few minutes later, as he made a great show of asking a man to move over to make an extra seat available on the clearly crowded train, “you’re a Red Sox fan, aren’t you?”
I took quiet comfort in the fact that clearly, the Sox don’t even show up on a Yankee fan’s radar unless he truly has something to worry about. It was going to be my comeback if the railman ever noticed the Red Sox ticket I was using as a bookmark and had proudly poked out from the pages of my book. I also knew that in New Haven, this crew would be relieved by another that would shepherd us the rest of the way.
By the time we neared Providence, the man making stop announcements got on the loudspeaker and said, “and just so you know, Red Sox 9, Seattle 2. As for the Yankees — who cares?”

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