Subway Conductor Called Back to Work

Roger, a retired subway conductor, sits on his couch.  Empty bottles of Scotch cover his living room floor. The phone rings.

Roger:  Yes, Mac?

Mac:  Roger, I’ve got one last job for you.  

Roger:  Mac, I’m not a subway conductor anymore.  5 years ago today, I turned in my badge and hat.

Mac:  You know you could have kept the hat, right?  MTA doesn’t re-use them..

Roger:  I’ve got to go, Mac.

Mac: Wait!  I wouldn’t call unless I had to…it’s just… The Masked Door Holder is at it again!

Roger:  You mean the fellow who holds doors open when the train is ready to leave the station, thus delaying the travel for everyone onboard the train, of course.. 

Mac nods.

Roger:  What?

Mac: Sorry, I was nodding – I forgot we were on the phone.  Yes. That guy.

Roger: I don’t know, Mac.  The Masked Door Holder and I have a history.

 

FLASHBACK

2015 – Columbus Circle Station

Roger: Stand clear of the closing doors, please.   Let the doors close! There is a 1 train running 5 minutes behind this one.

The car isn’t moving.  One of the doors must be open.  Roger sticks his head out of the car to find the cause.  A man in a white mask is blatantly holding one of the doors open.  Roger exits the car and walks toward the man.

Roger:  C’mon, buddy.  Let it close.

Man:  Sure, but first answer my riddle.

Roger: No time for riddles, pal.  Let it close.

Man: Who drives trains, lives at 314 Sycamore Street, Apartment 10J, and has an unpublished novel sitting in his desk drawer in his study?  Who gets Wendy’s take out 3 nights a week, and watches Real Housewives of Atlanta twice a week?

Roger:  How did you know…

Man:  I know all about you, Roger.  I also know you’re trained in – 

Roger karate chops at the man.  The man deftly blocks it and spins around, still holding the train door open.  The two fight in an elaborate and complicated way ( the man keeps one appendage blocking the door every few seconds, keeping the train in place.)  Roger and the man are breathing heavily.

Man: Karate…

The man sprints through the turnstile and escapes.  Roger runs back to the train, and the train leaves the station.

END FLASHBACK

 

Mac:  Well he’s back now.  And given your special connection to him, we think you’re the only one who can stop him.  The situation is desperate – trains are running 5, 10, even 15 minutes late due to him and his antics!

Roger:  I don’t think you get it, Mac.  He knows so much about me… because he IS me.  From the future.

Mac: Wow.

Roger:  Long story short – basically my ex-wife, famed physicist Dr. Piper Wareheim, discovered feasible time travel and now there’s a future me running around.  He knows everything about me so can predict my every move. And part of me doesn’t even WANT to destroy him because I know I have to become him one day.

Mac:  Why would you become him?!  You would never hold doors open! You’re a subway conductor who took an oath to let the doors close.  God dammit, snap out of it, man! You’ve always been passionate about timeliness every since you were 6 years old and a late subway car made your father lose his job.

Roger:  How did you know that?  I’ve never shared that story with you.

Significant pause.

Mac:  Roger, I’m you from even further into the future.  I’m trying to prevent you from becoming the Masked Door Holder in the first place.