Today’s Commute

When I leave the house I usually see the garden hose first. Manny is washing down the curb and I check how far he is to see if I can wish him a good morning. On the days he’s close enough he usually beats me to it. “Good morning, Rob! Have a good day, OK?!” It feels good because you can tell he means it. He deserves all the good days.

Summer is nice because there’s fewer Teens on the bus. I say that with a sincere combination of fear and respect. I have not been roasted by the Teens yet, but my day is coming. As I’ve gotten older and life changes directions, my clothes have become younger and more casual. I picture one of Them acknowledging my “hoodie-wearing old face-having ass” sometime aloud soon.

I travel above ground so much more now. The feel of a crowded train is unfamiliar and two summers into this new part of my life a sweltering subway station is a foreign country now. This is mostly good, no doubt, but I wonder if it contributes to those bouts where I can’t push myself out of my apartment for days to be around anybody. The bus is the fake agoraphobe’s preferred mode of transportation. There’s nobody within 10 feet of me most of the time and when I start my journey it’s almost always just me and the bus driver. It’s nice.

Seeing the roads that make up your commute every day is a different thing too. There’s something idyllic about the view out the window. Yes, I just said that about traveling through Brooklyn. Seeing the familiar turns and anticipating your destination in real time is calming.

I feel valued at my job. It’s a great feeling. “Better late than never” truly applies when talking about career changes, but there’s pressure to do more when you feel like you’re starting over so “late” in life. My peers are VPs with multiple kids. I wouldn’t trade with them, but I’d like to think there’s a path forward for myself, that I’m not going to be simultaneously accepted into this new industry but kept from going too far because I haven’t always been in it. I guess I’m still trying to figure out how to make my own way. “This” is great but it’s not all I am or all I want to be. Its a funny thing spending so much time never thinking about you’re life decisions too hard, just trying to make the best of your options, then suddenly feeling like you’re “special” and “meant for more.” But I admit it, I do feel that way now.

Two older women just got on the bus yelling at each other about coffee. It’s good-natured, but they’re still settling up their tab. They decided to sit far from each other, one in the back, one in the front. The woman in the front seems to know someone up there. They keep yelling at each other. They’ve been friends a long time. You can tell.