Monday, August 1, 2011

The End

This is how the blog ends.
Not with a bang, but with a quiet goodbye.
I start a new job this September, and I'll be driving a car to get there. Not riding a train. And as we all know, you can't type and drive, unless you're an asshole. So there you have it. No more train means no more blog.

It was never really a blog, if we're being honest here. A blog is something that gets updated regularly, which this most certainly was not. It was more like a collection of rants or essays or thoughts, written as much to practice writing as they were to entertain. Ultimately I discovered that I am a social creature, drawn more to people than isolation, so inevitably I found friends on the train. The 5:25 crew. The Mt. Kisco gang of four. The Holiday Ladies from Katonah. Tripp and Maria and Andrea and John and Andy and Mark and anyone else who would have me. And these friends filled my time when writing used to, and the blog suffered.

Every single entry (except this one) was written on the train, almost always in the one hour it took me to get to or from work. There we're many ideas that never saw the big screen of my mac. How you can use the reflection in the window when its dark outside to watch people without them knowing. How the train always slows down before it gets to White Plains because its ahead of schedule. The praying man, who prays as powerfully as any man I've seen for 10 minutes every morning before he exits the train. How I take the wide, elegant air conditioned JP Morgan escalator in the morning instead of the terminal escalator because its a civilized way to begin the day. Or the topless woman I passed standing on 6th avenue last week as I dashed to catch a 4:20 afternoon train. Yes. Topless.

So after 13 years I'm trading my monthly pass for my Lexus. I will play my radio, talk on my phone, roll down my windows, eat whatever I want, sing as loudly as I want and be the commuter I could never be on the Metro North. But I will also be alone, and as much as I will enjoy my new freedoms, I will also miss my old friends.

You can take comfort in the fact that I will still have an effing commute. I will surely suffer the indignities of road rage, texting drivers, headlight flashers, flat tires, traffic jams and the rest of it. but this time I'll keep it to myself.

I knew when I started this blog that it would be a fun way to kill time. I had no idea how many of you would come along for the ride. Thank you for that, and farewell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jesus drinks a 40 oz.

I saw Jesus on the train the other night at 125th street.
He parted the closing doors, crossed the gap and sat down next to me. He looked tired.
We were in a communal 6 pack seat, three facing three, and Jesus quickly put his sandals up onto the empty seat across from him. They were the feet of a man who worked hard for a living, who wasn't afraid of getting a little dirty, but maybe was afraid of a regular shower. I didn't begrudge him this. Who am I to judge the king of kings. He threw his dusty hemp satchel on the seat between us, produced a cold 40 oz. and took a long deliberate pull from the bottle.

Long day Jesus? I asked.
With a glance my way his eyes said yes.
What's on your mind saviour?
The grind, I guess, he said. Every day, in and out of the city, preaching to the sinners, offering salvation, then back on the 5:25 to Chappaqua, up the next  morning to do it all again. Somedays I don't know why I do it. Don't know if I made a single bit of difference in the world. Plus I have ideas. Big ideas. And nobody listens, you know? 

Chappaqua? I asked
Seriously? Cuz you don't strike me as...

Another look from the son of god, this time different. Annoyed.
Another long hard pull on the suds.

Listen Jesus, I said. Your preaching to the choir. Somedays are just hard, you know. Somedays this train is just a dead end ride. You pull into the Grand Central and you don't even know how you got there. You haul your bag to your desk, you drag through meetings and emails, and you wind up back on this train thinking, what the hell did I even do today? Did I make a profit? A quota? A difference? Water flowing under ground man.

Thats it! said Jesus, obviously appreciating the Talking Heads reference. 
Thats it exactly. I ride this train every day just to do right, man, to do the lords work. I strap on my sandwich board (how did i miss that in the overhead rack?), I stand at 44th and Broadway and I shout for anyone who will listen that the day is coming. The day when all of us will have to account for our actions and be judged. The end is near brother, and no matter how loudly I preach the truth outside of the Viacom building or the M&M store or the Lion King or that place that sells sketchy cameras and computers, nobody listens. Nobody understands. Nobody BELIEVES.

I understood.. Nobody likes to be ignored or marginalized, to feel insignificant or unheard, and as much as I sympathized with his situation, I quickly realized that this man wasn't Jesus. Just a dude with dirty dreadlocks and a slightly odd take on life. Maybe I wanted him to be Jesus, because honestly how cool would that be to ride the 5:25 with Jesus. Or maybe he liked being Jesus and we were each feeding off of each others needs at this particular time in this particular place. Either way, I knew it had to end. My stop was coming up and I felt the need to right the world and put it back on its normal axis.

Listen young man, if you want people to take you seriously in life, you should cut your hair, stop drinking in public and take your feet off the goddamn seat.

He took a last long pull on the bottle.
Fuck you, fake Jesus said
Amen brother.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tie Die

I’m not sure why this tie even exists. Help me out here. I just don’t understand, why would someone make it, and why would someone buy it. Its not even a good idea for a tie. Its medium beige and light beige ovals on a dark beige background. Who does that? Excuse me, sir, yes you, the one with the bad tie. Would you mind if I took a peak at the label on the back of that tie to see if it says “Compliments of your neighborhood Sizzler”. This is why life looks so dark to me sometimes, because I live in a world where shit ties are made and bought and I can’t figure it out. Made, I assume, in a third world factory that ordered way to much effing beige oval pattern fabric. I don’t blame them. Manufacturing. Jobs. Whatever. Its all good. But bought, I can only imagine, because someone was so taken by the overwhelming excellent beigeness of it all that they had to have it. Had to have it to match all the other beige shit in the beige closet of his beige master bedroom, in his beige colonial house on beige street, USA. Beige. You sir, I do blame. Or maybe his wife bought it. No that’s impossible, because there isn't a single woman on the planet with bad enough taste to buy this tie. Geez. You know how many ties there are in New York alone. Hundreds. Easily hundreds of decent ties for under $50. Do us all a favor. Take a fitty out of your beige wallet, go to a tie store or Macy’s or one of those pashmina street vendors and buy a solid navy tie. No patterns. Patterns are only for the advanced tie wearer. Solid colors. Then go to YouTube and watch a video about tying a knot, because the way you tied a knot in elementary school isn’t cutting it. Make it a windsor knot. Wow us. Please. 

This is your friendly neighborhood blogger reporting from car two of the 6:52 to Southeast asking you to please stop the train sometime after White Plains and come on board to stick needles in my eyes, because that would be less painful than having to look at this tie for an hour. Thanks.