Sunday, February 25, 2018
A train pulls into the station. I'm standing on the platform. I take stock of the cars closest to me. Crowded.
I step aside. I watch as Type A people get on. I wait while impulsive people, aggressive people and tardy people with poor time management skills shove their way on to the subway car.
People who hate their jobs push onto the train. There's laundry to do and dinner to fix at home so it won't be any picnic there. They're not thinking about that now. Get me out of here. Take this job and shove it. Except I need the job so I'll be back here tomorrow doing the same thing over again.
I watch entitled people and people without proper boundaries get on the train. I watch people who cannot delay gratification get on the train.
The icing on the cake is when a morbidly obese, sweaty man runs down the stairs and pushes himself forcibly on the train. For the love of god! He's literally throwing his weight around!
Step aside to let the people off the train the announcement says. All of these people ignore it. In their defense, the people exiting the train could step livelier.
Almost everyone gets on the train.
A small crowd assembles to catch the next train. An express train stops and people join me on the local side. More people come down the stairs and wait. The crowd swells. People crane their necks. Some lean ever so slightly over the platform to see if the train is coming.
The train pulls in. Acceptable. The air conditioner is going full throttle.
I won't get a seat for another two stops but this train is much more civilized than the last one. The last one was so full of desperate people that the folks standing in the doorway kept brushing against the closing doors which would cause the doors to open and close again and again. Sad.
One of our cohort from the platform gets a seat right away. There's not actually room for her in the seat because they are designed only for tiny people. So she does that thing that women do when it's seat but not really a seat. She sits at the very edge of the seat.
The ride is uneventful. Everybody gets along. Nobody smells bad. Nobody asks for money. Nobody does Show Time. Nobody plays Mariachi.
A few minutes later I get a seat that the lady sitting at the very end of the seat, like a sparrow on a branch only much larger, could have gotten if only she'd waited. There's two slim people flanking me, so we all sit In relative comfort, our backs upright against the seat, our butts where they should be. As God himself intended.
From the archives:
This Shit Got Real
Sunday, February 11, 2018
This is the worst thing that's ever going to happen to me. I sit with that knowledge for a while.
I'm 36 years old and this is my one cross to bear. Everybody gets a tragedy.
If I survive this, I will not be waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is no other shoe.
I feel a measure of what seems a little like comfort. I hold on. I can just about do this. This is what passes for okay news now.
Except that it takes me almost no time to realize that the floor underneath me is fake.
There is no one in charge here. There is no one doling out trouble, one per person, one at a time, only what that person can handle.
There is no universe that owes me a damn thing. Shit is random. Nobody is organizing it. Nobody is making sure anything is fair.
Years later, this is still my greatest tragedy but I'm no stranger to bad news. I'm that person who walks into eyes of hurricanes. I don't look away. I'd do that for you. You wouldn't even have to ask.
Not everything is bad. Some people died. Others survived. The survivors are here with me now. They turn up at the most opportune times. They say wise things. The kindness of other people!
I laugh so hard I almost forget to breathe. I see beauty in rubbish and sidewalk cracks.
With everything bitter there is some sweet. I still don't know what's going to happen, though.
Bring it on, I say to all of it.
From the archives:
All of the roads they did lead here
The very second you lost me
Friday, February 2, 2018
I wake up miserable. It has no home. It just is.
I don’t want to feel this way. I try negotiating. It stays put.
A while later I say okay, remember this. Part of life is being able to tolerate these emotions. I forgot this for a little while. I’ve been working on it but it isn’t second nature yet.
I feel better. But I also feel tired from all this work.
Then a third possibility emerges. I’m on the subway when that happens. If it weren’t for iPads I’d have a notebook and pen to write it all down.
Stay open. All emotions ebb and flow whether I work with them or just sit there doing nothing. Let the rest of whatever the day has in store lift me.
Yes, there’s a chance it could put me lower. It’s possible that the misery is a premonition. Or that random bad things happen. But I can still have an eye toward the horizon. An unexpected kindness, an exchange.
Be a satellite. Let the day do its thing. It could end very differently than it began.
You might also enjoy:
Suffer The Words
The High Cost Of Being Me