If my readers are intrigued by the unusual heading for this specific blog entry, it is because of the latest obsession with cataloguing via Libraries Australia and Ex Libris – Alma. Daily commuting during weekdays from Mount Druitt to Wynyard brought forth a few eccentricities that I thought did not exist. One such peculiarity was to gravitate towards a monorail that stole silently behind me when exiting Wynyard station and crossing George Street into Hunter Street or Hunter connection. If I had not heard a woman’s frantic cry which compelled me to stand dead in my tracks, I would have become one with either the monorail or the tracks. Or met with a horrible fate like the commuters who escaped death but lived with disfigurement and suffered from emotion distress.
If this anecdote did not appeal to your idea of strangeness, I suggest you continue to read until my narration of one of the most improbable accidents in the history of accidents is complete. Fulfilling the roles and responsibilities associated with the position of Librarian Grade 1, for the day, at the State Library of NSW, I rushed to Wynyard station to board the usual train to Mount Druitt which arrived on Platform 4 at 5:28 pm on the weekdays. Struggling to shield myself from the onslaught of rain with a conventional type of black umbrella, I walked carefully to the ticket barrier dragging my Skylite casual wheeled laptop backpack and a lightweight sling drawstring Nike bag slung over my left shoulder. Managing the umbrella, sling bag and the backpack clumsily, I tapped the ticket on the machine to let myself through the barrier. As I walked through the barrier doors and almost let myself out, I dropped the sling back. I turned around, bent and picked it up and the unimaginable ensued. As I straightened, the closing barrier doors held me in a vice like grip trapping me like a Venus fly trap imprisoning doomed insects.
Paralyzed by indecision and immobility, I stood still in the spot when a gentleman assessing the grimness of the situation, instead of passing through the ticket barrier on the left side, stopped to help. He held on to one of the barrier doors hoping that I would have room to extricate myself from its tightening hold. The city rail staff, who was on the right side, was fumbling with his keys to unlock the barrier while offering words of consolation to a very ‘stuck’ me. Realizing that the staff’s keys would set me free, he repeatedly asked me if he could let go of the door he was holding. I snapped out of my thoughts, and without looking at the gentleman’s face, consented to him releasing the door that he was holding on one side. The city rail staff set me free and asked me questions to ensure that I was not in a state of shock.
Moving away from the barrier doors, I took the stairs to platforms 3 and 4 suppressing uncontrollable laughing fits recalling the hilarious situation; a situation where a knight in armor appeared out of nowhere to rescue a damsel in distress. I looked around hoping to spot the gentleman as I was unsure if I expressed gratitude for his timely help however was distracted by the arrival of the train. In my wildest imagination, never had I visualized myself being so accident-prone that I could not have survived the situations without the assistance of kind-hearted individuals around me.