Tuesday, May 03, 2022

8:21am peak train

It's been nearly 2.5 years since I've "gone into the city." Don't get me wrong, we've made a few cautious weekend road trips to see close friends, and drive the kids down to the Bronx to the Botanical Gardens and/or zoo. But for the first time in what feels like forever, I packed a banana, dusted off my backpack, zipped up my 'nice' hoodie, and jumped on a commuter train for a day full of important meetings.

While I'm by no means the first to return to this routine, i could sense a nervous energy of the fellow commuters on the platform. Some standing with their backs facing the crowd, others making sure their masks were snug, all eying each other cautiously. And once on the train, fortunately most were masked (baller/dick move of the maskless girl who got to have a seat to herself amongst a crowded train). And while every morning commute is always a Zen crowd of considerate and quiet workers, sleepers, and podcast listeners - there is an erie calm and exhausted trepidation. The only similar vibe is from years ago, the days after a derailment, when we all sat silent all the train, quiet but not restful.

I'm probably reading too much into this. Writing to calm my own nerves.

A lot has changed in 2.5 years since I abandoned this daily work routine. Sure, a pandemic and variants and vaccines. But a radical change to my work, a long overdue racial reckoning, an election, an insurrection, a new child, a somehow older child, lots more podcasts/comics, and a new routine to match it all. All of which I skipped writing about here because I found other ways to expend my nervous anxieties and creative energies

So as I sit here on this peak rush hour train hurtling towards my favorite building in the world's greatest city (and back again), I find myself sincerely wondering: Am I ready to do this, again?

I guess I'll find out in a bit.

I wonder what the subway is going to be like?
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