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Jan just told me a current story of her granddaughter getting her foot caught between the subway train and the subway platform as the train started to pull away. She’s black and blue but still alive, still interned with the fashion house she’d been transporting a load of dresses for.
For the first time in years and decades I remembered an experience I had as a toddler. My mother, in a dress and high heels pulls the trolley chord to exit the trolley at Broadway near Pilling Street in Brooklyn. My mother exits the trolley first, takes her stance on the cobble stones, turns back to me her toddler son, awaiting on the top step of the rear exit of the trolley. Mom takes me under my arms and is lifting me clear when the trolley driver closes the doors and proceeds to drive on. Mom gasps. The trolley doors pinch me by the waist. I’m a little top heave and pitch head toward the cobblestones, but the doors still have me by the waist. I remember if vividly. Mom comes tripping over the cobbles in her heels, trying to hold me up.
Pople on the trolley are telling at the driver (who was to plead dearness once he had a chance), they tell him he’s dragging a child, upside down, the mother frantically running alongside, down Broadway, in Brooklyn. The trolley stops again, Mom catches up, the doors reopen, this time carefully, I fall into Mom’s arms: and we’re instantly surrounded by people, not people trying to help, but people offering Mom lawyers cards, assuring her that they can get her $50 for the mishap.
My father was a layer. I wonder if Mom told even him. I doubt it. Mom was from a generation that thought it Christian not to sue, especially not if it was the government or a government monopoly in the wrong.
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