I was among the many rush hour commuters trying to get home on the Orange Line yesterday, October 29, 2014, one of those caught up in Orange Line Limbo (a state of ungrace, in which commuters find themselves standing still and not knowing why).

Eventually, with the help of the i Phoned-riders and cryptic MBTA announcements we learned that a man had been struck and killed by an Orange Line train.

I could hear the passengers’ sighs, some voicing sympathy for the passing of the unnamed man. I said a very brief prayer for him and his family.

I admit my sadness was quickly displaced by frustration and angst. I realized I was a background player in some lost episode of “The Twilight Zone” which Rod Serling would call “so close yet so far.” We (Orange Line commuters) were caught in some crazy time warp.

The Red and Green line commuters (unaffected by the disruption) seemed to be moving in slow and easy pace while we (Orange line commuters) were frantically moving up and down staircases, trying to find the buses rumored to be located somewhere above ground with the sole purpose of getting us someplace closer to home.

By the time I made above ground, I was exhausted and angry. Then I was overwhelmed by this chilling thought: The MBTA was actually in worse shape than I ever imagined.

For example, while wandering from Red Line, to Green Line to Orange Line, I realized there were very few MBTA workers present to give directions and answer questions. Moreover, the information provided was unclear and inconsistent.

I understand now that the MBTA is to commuters what the Big Dig is to motorists…Hell.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.