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Trainplotting

Today, someone tried tried to bomb the Port Authority bus terminal at rush hour in NYC. I can only imagine the panic that ensued as commuters exited the train, some stuck. That was always a big fear of mine–that I’d be left underground, caught, like in a submarine, losing oxygen or getting gassed with Anthrax when I lived in Manhattan right after 9/11. Part of why I left New York was that I felt I was always underground, be it passing through Port Authority or surfing in the middle of the A train to Harlem, hoping not to touch the dirty pole. That pole was often the subject of a dare of mine (‘ya know, ’cause all 30-somethings play Truth or Dare regularly #arresteddevelopment). I’d say, “Dare! How much would I have to pay you to lick that subway pole from bottom to top?” No amount would have been sufficient for me, even if I did have to eat rice and peas for dinner two nights a week (true).

As I drove to work this morning and heard the news of the Port Authority bombing, I was grateful to be on Cape Cod and away from it. But, at the same time, I felt a tinge of guilt that I had left my people behind. I didn’t hack it out. I wasn’t in the struggle. Don’t get me wrong; I struggle, beaches and all. But, there’s something about the struggle of living in the city, grit and all, that makes you just–well, tougher, edgier, deserving. You deserve props for just living the hard life there. I did it for 10 years, and then some. I wouldn’t do it again. I’m glad I moved to Cape Cod. But I can’t say a part of me will always be on that subway…

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2 thoughts on “Trainplotting”

  1. Funny — we swapped places. I was minutes away from the attack when it happened (my daily commute passes through 34th) and it was disorienting. I can now say I know what bomb “smells” like, which is not something I ever hoped I’d be able to say. Lucky that no one was seriously injured. After being in Woods Hole for almost 6 years, I felt it was time to leave (also kind of panicked when I realized I was going to spend my 20’s in a town where a part of me always felt a tiny bit like I was on vacation). Now I’m roughing it out in NYC, and oddly, I don’t really miss the Cape, similarly to how you don’t really miss NYC. It must have to do with where we are in our lives, and funny/terrifying to think about what will feel like home to us next. Maybe the Cape, but maybe somewhere else, too. So interesting to think about, since these places don’t change, only we do. Right?

    P.S. Let’s grab a drink next time I’m in town. Us writers should stick together. Keep blogging!! xo

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    1. Hi, Joy! I just saw this comment. Thanks for reading and commenting! I didn’t realize you’d gone back to NYC! Wow. I don’t blame you. If I were in your position and age, I would too. I think the pursuit of acting was just too much and is inevitably what killed my spirit and passion for NYC. You know, unlike the pursuit of publishing a novel! (haha) Why do I always choose to do something that’s, like, impossible!? Anyway, I am glad that you are happy in NYC! That’s great. Yes, let me know when you’re back in the hood! xo

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