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Friday, November 30, 2018

Like the Fool that I Am and I'll Always be........

This is probably one of those things that you had to be there for, but I just sat down at my desk; 10 minutes late for work, and I'm in such a great mood that I have to blog about my commute today. Everything was "normal" up until Penn Station. Normal is an extreamly generic term, so I'll say that as usual, most of my fellow commuters got on the train seemingly lost in the early morning fog of another mundane commute. They took their seats if they could find one and the vast majority either buried their heads in their electronic devices, newspapers, and books or just closed their eyes and savored the last moments that they could rest. I feel like I'm traveling to the beat of a different drum;as if the soundtrack of my life is set to a different station than most others. But I always take pleasure in those few kindred souls whose paths cross with mine. A knowing nod, a smile, a wave from afar; we might shake hands and say good morning - one woman in particular runs past me everyday at Jamaica, we blow each other a kiss. I'm certain that there are some that view me as a fool; but this is who I am. They can change their minds, but they can't change me.

We get to Penn and this is where the trouble begins; the subway platform is crowded and the sign says that the downtown trains are "Delayed" as even more people are arriving at the platform. I find my usual spot on the platform and meet up with my little group of commuting friends. There's a collective frustration growing and five minutes later the overhead announcement comes across:

"Pht ab;d*&# mghrx THIRTY FOURTH STREET akdcs jhdkjb nbsakjh #$jhk"

Followed by:

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

A few minutes later the second uptown train pulls into the station. This is my cue; I tell my friends that I'm going uptown and I'll cross over to another line at 42nd st. Sometimes that's just the fastest way to get downtown. If you're going my way, I'll go with you. No one wants to join me - I guess they're counting on Murphy's law: the moment I leave, the downtown train is sure to arrive. But so what? Who cares if the train does show up right after I leave? I don't want life to pass me by, waiting on a platform and getting more frustrated each passing moment. Maybe I get to work earlier than them, maybe I don't; I'm intent on appreciating the experience of even the mundane commute if I can. In this way I feel like I'm moving ahead so life won't pass me by.

A minute later I'm at 42nd street and I cross over to the NQRW line. As I'm on the stairs leading down to the platform, I see that the R train is sitting just before the platform and there's a crowd on the platform. I walk up to a group and ask "How long has THAT been there?" The response, accompanied with a heavy sigh, is "At least 5 minutes!" A minute later the Q train arrives on the other side. The R train is a local train that goes all the way to south ferry - the Q is an express that makes a left at Canal street and heads into Brooklyn. It looks like I'm the only one that gets on the Q. If you're going to lower Manhattan, the R is the right train, but I figure I'll get to Canal st and re-evaluate. We get to Canal, I hop off and figure maybe I'll walk the dozen blocks to my office. Just as I pass the stairs to the 6 train though, I hear that it's pulling into the station. The the next stop on the 6 is right across the street from my office. It's like kismet. The doors open just as I get there and I walk on without having to stop and without having to run to catch it - as if it was sent just for me.

There's maybe six people in the car that I step into, and one of them is THAT guy. You know, the guy that apparently doesn't realize that there's other people in the world. He's playing music REALLY loud. It's not like he's using headphones  on the "please make me deaf" setting - he's using an actual speaker! It's an order of magnitude better than the speakers that the MTA uses to "inform" us about what's going on.  My mind is forming the words "Oh, great...." When I stop in mid thought and say "Oh, wait. I LIKE this song..." From Canal street to City Hall park I listened to Jim Croce sing about me and today's commute:

Like the north wind whistlin' down the sky
I've got a song, I've got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby's cry
I've got a song, I've got a song

And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud

Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won't pass me by

And I'm gonna go there free

Like the fool I am and I'll always be
I've got a dream, I've got a dream
They can change their minds but they can't change me
I've got a dream, I've got a dream

Oh, I know I could share it if you'd want me to
If you're goin' my way, I'll go with you

Movin' me down the highway, rollin' me down the highway
Movin' ahead so life won't pass me by

Movin' me down the highway, rollin' me down the highway
Movin' ahead so life won't pass me by

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