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Letter sent on Aug 6, 2015

Trainwrecks:
Family

Clare Bruff
Q & 3

The last time I cried on the train was almost exactly a year ago. My 4-year-old cat, Little Hans, was hardly eating and had become lethargic. The decline in his eating happened over a few weeks, but his lethargy came on rather suddenly at end of July, which finally prompted me to take him to the vet. They injected fluid under his skin and took blood for further testing and, while I think they did try to impress upon me that things didn’t look great, I’m not sure I fully accepted it. Two days later I was at work and the vet called me with the results from the blood test. It was really bad. I started crying while I was still on the phone with the vet then I walked tearfully into my boss’ office and told him — between uncontrolled sobs — that I had to leave right that second to take my cat to the emergency hospital.

I cried the whole way back to Brooklyn on 2 different trains. It was the middle of the morning, so the trains were on the empty side, which almost made it worse. Nobody said anything to me, but people definitely noticed. I wanted to tell everyone, “It’s not what you think! My cat is dying!” I’m not sure what I assumed people thought, but I didn’t think it was that. I guess I thought I had a good reason for crying and that people wouldn’t judge me if they knew what a good reason I had. But I didn’t say anything and no one said anything to me and I just cried on the train for an hour because who really cares when your cat is dying.

P.S. This story has a happy ending! Little Hans spent 6 days in the hospital and another several weeks with a feeding tube, but he got all better. Here is a picture of him after he got his feeding tube and bandages removed, but before all his fur grew back.

Chris Scott
Blue Line

I flew home to central Illinois last Christmas. In the days leading up to my trip I’d texted my dad a couple times asking if we could grab lunch while I was in town. I hadn’t seen him since the previous Christmas, and since then, he’d gone missing, and I’d been made aware of his drug addiction. Still, I’d held out hope that he’d want to see me. So I stayed at my mom’s apartment, texting him a few times “Hey I’m in town, can we meet up?” “Hey are you free this afternoon?” “Hey Dad I’m leaving tomorrow. Are you ok?” No response. Then it was time to go back to Boston. I was fine on the flight, I was fine on the shuttle from the airport. Then I got on the blue line. It was late and my car was empty. I sat down with my luggage, and typed “Hey Dad, sorry I missed you. Maybe next Christmas.” I sent it. The doors closed. The train started carrying me away, and that did it. I broke down.