SUBWAY STOP FOR MY SERENITY: 34th STREET
Every day I wake up with a good attitude I swear. I stretch. I do morning exercises. I breathe in. I breathe out. I pet my cat. I think of what I am thankful for. I water my plants on the back porch. I kiss my future husband goodbye that is sleeping like a little baby. And then it all begins.
Sometimes it feels like a mean joke-as if someone is videotaping me from afar just to see how and when I will freak out. I walk down the street to the subway and any bit of serenity I’ve managed to store up begins to slowly leak out my body like the air from a child’s birthday balloon. It starts with a hiss and than gradually grows into a louder more constant screech as if a three-year-old is standing next to me stretching the mouth of a balloon throughout the day until I deflate.
It starts with my morning ritual of getting the paper. You know how on TV when they show exaggerated ‘bad New York’ and they show packs of crackheads standing outside a rundown deli making drug deals and acting like crackheads? Well that is real and it is filmed at the deli where I get my paper every morning. After fighting may way through the pack to get inside I then wait on line while people yell too loudly their LOTTO picks and teens push their way past me to buy lunches of Twinkies and orange soda.
I head towards the train where I am accosted on a daily basis by the AM New York paper man who hands out free papers. Despite my NEVER getting a paper and this man seeing me the same time every day he still plunges forth with his running up and waving of the paper in my personal space. At this point I still have an ounce of human compassion inspired that even the paper man still has hope that one day I will take his paper. Perhaps I better lighten up.
Then I get on the train. I can’t see because I am blinded by allergies that make my eyes swollen as if I went to bed sobbing myself to sleep. God forbid I see someone I know and have to talk. I read the paper (what I can see of it) and aside from the occasional packed subway car full of class field trips it’s not too bad.
Then I get off in midtown. Why don’t I just stop the blog here now that you know where my serenity goes. The subway stop for my serenity is 34th street in midtown. Midtown in so many words: Tourists. DMV lines. Old Navy. H&M shoppers. Macy’s. Clowns. Paint Your Name on a Piece of Rice. Ice Cream trucks. Hot dogs. Fake designer bags. All of Long Island pouring out in droves from the mouth of Penn Station.
And then I go to Starbucks. This is a new thing for me. I hate Starbucks and everything it represents and all the people that go there and work there but yet I am addicted. I’m an addict. Of Starbucks. It’s quite possible if I don’t get a large…sorry ‘Vente’ (gag) iced coffee from there on a daily basis I might explode. My main problem is that the people are too friendly and only because some high level Starbucks execs just returned from some lame ass off-site where they decided OUT is saying, “Next GUEST please…” to customers and IN is to know your customers by name. So now…when they ask you for your order they also ask your NAME. I'm sorry but no New Yorker I know wants to be ‘outed’ so early in the morning. This morning I watched some reasonably cool guy (BEN) turn red and reach for his iced mocha frappachino with extra butterscotch and whip cream. No good. No one wants to be like Ben.
Finally I reach my desk. I open my email and I have 27,000 emails because someone sent around one titled, “Help Me Name My New Puppy” and all 27,000 people who all apparently just learned what a computer is decided to reply-all.
And this my friends…is where my serenity goes.
And it is only 9:15am.