Flatbush Bottle: A Real-Life Story Starter

Flatbush Bottle_3 18 2014

In the last few months, I’ve been using a new train route.  The people are new.  The stops are different.  The smells are different.  (If you’re a New Yorker, you know what I mean!)  However, there’s an unusual fixture at one particular train station.

In between the tracks, there are iron girders that divide the two tracks.  It is a ‘natural’ leeway so that when the tracks are being worked on MTA track employees can perch safely out of harm’s way without having to get up on the platform (a tiring exercise!) every time a train comes into the station (which is frequently!).

At about the mid-point of the station, on the girder is a bottle filled with what looks to be water.  It’s a bit too far away for me to read the label but it appears it once originally held Lipton Iced Tea.  There is now a visible layer of black soot on the neck of the bottle.

I first noticed this bottled about a month ago.  I figured it would be removed by ‘someone’ at some point fairly soon.

A month, or so, later it’s still sitting in its high perch untouched by the hundreds of subway cars that rumble through that station day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The vibrations are not even moving this bottle.  How is this bottle managing to stay put so supremely and flick its proverbial nose at the mere mortals who look upon its smooth, albeit dirty, countenance.

I wondered and have wondered about the following:

  • How did the bottle get up there in the first place?
  • How is it managing to stay on the girder even with the rumbling vibrations from the trains passing by?
  • What was the purpose of putting the bottle there?
  • What’s really inside of the bottle?
  • Is this some kind of grand experiment and there’s a camera somewhere at that station watching and waiting to see if someone will try to move the bottle?

Then my brain begins going down a writerly road…

  • What if the bottle is portal key and whoever touches it will be instantly transported to another dimension in a train station far, far away…
  • What if the bottle was placed there through the window of a subway car when it was off-loading and waiting in the station for the signal to leave.  What if the owner was bored to tears and left a message in the bottle for another bored restless NYC MTA commuter?  If so, what does the message say?
  • What if the bottle contains the spirit of a genie who can grant only 1 wish and that wish must be conducted — in some way shape or form — within a station of the NYC MTA subway system?
  • What if it’s just a stinkin’ bottle that was tossed out of a train window and by sheer luck it landed right-side up on the girder?  The shock of the million-to-one shot made the bum change his priorities and change his life around.  And what if that bum believes that as long as that bottle stands there his life will continue to improve?

See how a simple unusually placed object in a not-so-ordinary position can fire the brain?

How do you think the bottle got there?  What’s its story?  How about we all collectively write a story about it?  And when the story’s done, I’ll post it on this blog.  What do you say??

If you want to help write this story start it off in the comment section!  C’mon — somebody give me the first sentence. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Flatbush Bottle: A Real-Life Story Starter

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