Standing at a MBTA train stop can be a mystical experience.

You start your day power walking to the T station, rushing down the stairs, standing on the platform staring at the countdown clock. The message on the countdown clock reports that the next train will arrive in 1 minute.

The soothing male baritone voice on the pre-recorded message confirms the countdown clock‘s schedule. Sitting down would be a waste of effort. You step up to the yellow lines, waiting for the train. You are so trusting.

One minute turns to 2 minutes which turns to 3 minute…but no train insight, no engine sounds. Just silence.

You find yourself staring again at the countdown clock. The message remains intact while the minutes pass. You notice people around you staring at the countdown clock and then checking the time on their cell phones or watches.

Your inner cynic sighs “Duped again!”

Then I turn to you and explain we are in a time warp, a twilight zone where one minute of MBTA time equals 5 minutes of real time. According to this new information, the train will arrive sooner or later!


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.