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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unlimited Rides


The heart beat of mid America may be Chevrolet, but the pulse of NYC is our mass transit system. I may not be a fan of the MTA and the fare hikes but I’ll throw down with anyone that talks smack about the NYC subway system. My neighbor constantly complains that he never has a seat or that the stations are so dirty blah blah blah… He’s correct but I always answer his complaints with “What time does the Boston subway system (his home town) stop running?” and he shuts up.

Not only does the transit system connect 5 boroughs and 4 million riders a day but it also connects people on a one on one level. Now I know a lot of people but today I happened to run into about 6 people in random locations that I haven’t seen in a while one person twice today but another one in the most random of locations. On a subway platform in midtown on the east side I saw a fellow that I see once in a while at meetings. I can’t help but feel connected and at home in NYC. I see people I know everywhere I go and I love that. As an addict a relapse is always an arms length away so it’s amazing to me that I can find recovery with the swipe of a metrocard.

While the MTA fairies were sprinkling me with recovery dust on another subway line my Aunt was the witness to a rather contrasting picture. On the train was a mother using a toothbrush to fix her daughter’s hair. My aunt stated that as the little girl cried the mother just began to curse at her. It reminds me of the scene in Mommie Dearest when Joan Crawford finds Christina using her makeup and hair products and decides to chop all her hair off.

It makes me think about how many people lack any sense of composure or tack. I’ve seen men clip their nails on the train, masturbate, pee between cars and sexually harass women and I’ve even been mugged on a platform. I think you’re not officially a New Yorker even by birth until you’ve been mugged. It’s a right of passage good for one fare. I’ve even seen women pee themselves, (poor old lady) and all sorts of other things, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Not only is there really great entertainment at busy transfer stations but there are dance and barber shop quartets and panhandlers with the same stories from 15 years ago but there are also our friends and family heading to a destination so lets be thankful for them arriving home safe tonight.

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