It’s always good to get a little perspective, even when it is foisted upon you.
These last two days, I shook up my routine, attending a conference in New York that found me riding Metro-North yet again.
Two years later, the scenery remains the same, but my favorite characters were missing in action: No Patterned Tights Lady, No Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones Guy. And my friend Nancy worked from home and so I couldn’t even ride with her.
I was hoping for some stellar people-watching moments, but except for the woman who confidently strolled off the train in Grand Central with her shirt on inside-out, there were no episodes of note, just the monotonous clickety-clack punctuated by the ringing and dinging of cell phones and the shuffling of newspapers.
I saw a lot of familiar faces, including the dapper man and his morning entourage who start each day with lively conversation. He still stands at the train door starting from the 125th Street stop so he can be the first one out when the train stops.
The subway was more colorful, natch.
Somewhere between the BO and large doses of cologne, spliced in the middle of my best sardine impression and furtive games of “stop touching me” on the way home tonight, I was serenaded by a sitar player. At the other end of the hallway, a guitarist wearing a gold crown competed for his share of donations. Around the corner, I was hounded to register to vote after being offered the chance to be born again. (“Praise Jesus!”)
It will surely not surprise you to know I chose instead to high-tail it home to the comfort of my bathrobe and slippers, and the delightful sounds of silence.