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The usual miracles
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didn’t impress her that rainy Monday morning. The bus was only a block away when she got to the bus stop. She actually scored a seat and managed to keep her bag and briefcase on her lap and off the muddy floor. They made it through the tunnel without delay pulling up at Port Authority in near record time. The commuter crowds were moving swiftly towards their platforms and she joined the throng of people weaving efficiently towards the uptown train. As she neared the platform she pulled out her subway card noting that only one ride remained. When the train screeched to a halt and the doors opened right in front of her, she slipped on and held on to the pole all the way to 72nd Street. Emerging from underground she saw that the rain had tapered off which felt like a tiny unexpected gift. She stuffed her umbrella into her raincoat pocket and headed up Broadway almost enjoying the scoured air and emerging blue sky. Feeling the heaviness from last night’s argument with her husband dissipating, she contemplated her Zabar’s order and quickened her step. As she crossed 77th Street she noticed that she was the only pedestrian on the block. She wondered if that was as unusual as it seemed or if she never paid enough attention to notice that kind of thing. Halfway up the block a door flung open and a man dressed in a suit and tie with a raincoat in one hand and briefcase in the other darted in front of her and ran out into the street. And just like that an oncoming bus struck him. It caught him on the driver’s side front corner and launched him into the air. By the time she registered what she had seen the man was lying on the street on his side, his briefcase open, and papers strewn all around. The bus driver stopped and climbed down from the bus, his face ashen with fear. But she reached the man first. “I’m fine, I’m fine,” he insisted as he clung to her and shakily got to his feet. She helped him to the sidewalk and sat him down on the curb explaining that he was in shock. “No, I’m okay,” he insisted. Meanwhile the bus driver called for help, and passersby grabbed his briefcase and what papers they could before the light changed and three lanes of traffic barreled down Broadway. Someone handed her the briefcase and she stood up and began to stuff it with the papers that other hands held out to her. As she turned to give the man his briefcase, he startled her by wrenching it from her. Holding it in front of his chest like a shield he bolted into the street dodging oncoming cars and buses, ignoring blasting horns, and people screaming. She felt her own knees buckling and leaned against the glass door of a coffee shop struggling to get her racing heart under control. She wondered if she still had time to stop at Zabar’s.

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