The trials and tribulations of a long distance commuter
Thursday, October 22, 2009
An Inconvenient Deuce
The life of a long distance commuter is all about timing. Here's an example of how my morning usually goes... Alarm goes off at 6am. I hit the snooze a couple of times. Out of bed by 6:20. Wake the kids, make coffee, wake the kids again, shower, floss, brush, dress for work, match tie to shirt, match socks to pants (usually in the dark), take the kids to the bus stop to catch the effing ungodly 7:05 am bus, back home to grab all my stuff, answer an email, kiss my wife, pet the dog (important to do it in that order), drive to the train station, grab an egginabag and another coffee, catch the 8:05 peaker, arrive at Grand Central by 9:10-ish, walk across town and finally plunk my ass down in my trendy ergonomically correct Aeron chair by 9:30am. This leaves me a half hour to unpack my shit, plug in my laptop, print out my schedule, go through the 50 emails that I didnt answer yesterday and get to my daily 10am meeting. It's a tightly planned morning that doesnt have a whole lot of wiggle room in it, and so here's the problem. Somewhere in this frantic 4 hour window, I have to find a little ME time to do my bidness.
You see, this blog is about life, not some Disney channel laugh track retouched version of life, but the real deal, and having set those parameters, and out of respect for the intelligence of my readers, I really have no choice but to discuss the true indignities that come along with this lifestyle. The simple fact is, that at some point during those non stop, hectic 4 hours between 6am and 10am, I have to drop a deuce.
Now usually, if life is drudging along and the days are falling endlessly into eachother like a row of dominoes layed out in, say, a death spiral pattern, I'm in a pretty good rhythm. I wake up, get the coffee, wake the kids, maybe grab a bowl of shredded wheat or grape nuts, and boom. There you have it. Done and done. Time to move on. But every once in a while, like when it's time to set the clocks back, or if I skip dinner, or if I changed the order I put my socks on, or if earth's rotation around the sun alters its course by more than a thousandth of a degree, I can get knocked off that rhythym, and that's not good.
When that happens, my morning can go something like this: Alarm goes off at 6am. Out of bed by 6:20. Wake the kids, make coffee. Huh, nothing yet. Shower, floss, brush, dress for work. Hmmm. Still nada. Take the kids to the bus, back home to grab all my stuff, answer an email, kiss my wife, pet the dog, and then...uh, oh.
And it's at this point that I have two very unenviable options. I can drop my bag, heed the call and miss my train, therefore probably missing that meeting that a bunch of people in nice work clothes will be expecting me in. Or, I can use the facilities on the train, and here's why that second option is just never ever going to happen. You see, about a year ago, I actually did decide to use the train bathroom, not for a full on sit down, but for a number one moment. And as I was standing in the bathroom, doing my thing, the train came to a stop, and when the train came to a stop, the sliding door of the bathroom that I was positive I had locked, rolled open. And so there I was, in full view of a very appreciative audience who, even though they hadn't put a dollar into a slot, nonetheless had the door slide open for a little Times Square style show.
And so given those two options, whenever I'm faced with the inconvenient deuce and I have to make that choice...well, those people in that meeting can just wait.