I’m on the subway and in spite of being a seasoned New Yorker, I make a rookie mistake. I get on the train at the wrong platform and now I’m going downtown instead of uptown. Furthermore, I’m in such a daydreamy, contemplative fantasy land that I don’t realize the error until I’m good and far from where I wanted to be. Instead of progress I’ve gone backwards. Negative progress.
I correct things and get on the right train. I spend a minute or two berating myself for possible undiagnosed and under-treated ADD, then catch myself and get negative about that.
I spot a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time. People who don’t live in NYC think that we never run into people here. What are the chances? But the truth is we do. All the time.
The friend has to get off in three stops so we have a micro interaction. A lot gets exchanged though.
He doesn’t recognize me initially. I’ve been worried about this very scenario lately. I’m wearing some newish clothes that flatter me, makeup that fits with a makeup-no makeup trend I’ve been following and in spite of needing a trim, I’m having a good hair day.
You look so good! He says. This is an entirely new look for you. Maybe he was being polite but I take him at face value. I liked what I saw in the mirror this morning.
I think about saying something to him. I’m eating now. I’m eating enough and that accounts for how I look. I decide not to. It’s enough that I connected it and said it to myself.
We catch up a little about him.
He gets off. If I hadn’t gotten on the wrong train I wouldn’t be on this one, running into a friend and talking with him about this and that. He leads an interesting life and is a wonderful person.
It’s stunning how slowly the train is moving. Now with nobody to talk to, I notice it.
As impatience starts forming around the edges, I negotiate with myself. You’re looking for time to write poetry and prose. You love to make art. So now you have some time. Make art.
So I get out my phone and I make art.
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