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In the Times' City section, there was a story by Thomas Beller about how his iPod fell as he was getting onto a train - slipping between the subway car and the platform edge onto the tracks. And so he went to pick it up. Oh, yes, he did:

I waited until the train and the two that followed it were finally gone. The iPod lay there on the floor of the tracks. The tunnel was dark and quiet. My knees were a little loose, like those of someone about to jump off a diving board.

New York is a vertical town. The emphasis is on things that rise. But the New Yorker's panic-stricken need for accomplishment — the need to go up — is matched by a kind of vertigo that comes with being constantly aware of the distance below.

Did the MTA issue an angry statement saying that subway riders should never ever do something as stupid as that? Gothamist was cringing as we read this story, because while we are interested in these stories about people who happen to find themselves on the tracks, we would have been the type to wait for an MTA employee to pick up the iPod, only to discover it was waterlogged and partially eaten by rats by the time it was retrieved.

Would you jump to the depths of the subway tracks for your iPod? Beller does explain his attachment to this iPod, but still... And we've always liked Beller's short story collection, The Seduction Theory, and he also has a website, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, that is a collection of stories from around the city.

Photograph of iPod ad at Spring Street subway station from tmelillo