The game begins with the boneyard. The dominoes are all turned face down on the table and carefully swirled to shuffle them. No one knows what will happen.
It seems to never fail that whenever I’m in the biggest rush is when things go wrong. Take for instance the subway. So many times I have run to catch a train and made it, even scoring a seat only to realize I was traveling in the wrong direction! Some of the stations here in NYC allow a rider to enter the station and then go to the platform for either direction. Other station entrances only lead to one direction. Trains follow the the above ground traffic, so there is a visual clue to where to go, if riders take the time to notice.
Last week I was in a hurry. As I descended the station stairs I heard a train arriving, so I ran to catch it. I got a seat and commenced reading the book I was carrying. A few stops later I thought I must be approaching my destination. I looked up and saw that I had been going the wrong direction. Ugh! I got off at the next stop that had dual access and briskly walked to the opposite platform, swearing to myself along the way. I really did not need this delay! The train arrived in a manner of minutes, I boarded and got another seat. I was on my way.
Then the second domino fell. The train proceeded only halfway into the tunnel and stopped. A voice came over the loudspeaker that every commuter dreads. “Ladies and Gentlemen, due to the train ahead of us with locked brakes, we are being held here until the station can be cleared.” More delay! The voice in my head is shouting, “Not today. Not today! Not now!” There was nothing I could do about it except sit there, wait, and read my book. I opened it, but my anxiety over being late prevented me from focusing on the printed page. Five hours later, well maybe it was two minutes, we were moving again.
The train arrived at my destination. The doors opened and I went flying through the turnstile and up the stairs to the street. Just a few paces brought me to a quarter on the sidewalk which I rescued. A few more paces and I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. She wanted to chat and suddenly I wasn’t so pressed for time anymore. We were both happy for our chance meeting. It completely changed the tone of the day for me. I realized there wasn’t going to be a third domino that day. The game was over. I had won.