Riding Metro North. With the Crusaders.


It’s 27° F. I’m fast stepping to catch the 6:16 am train to Grand Central. My soles are snapping the rock salt crystals. The eyes are scanning the sidewalk on the look out for black ice. It’s March. It’s damn cold. I shiver. It’s over. It’s over soon.

I review my notes for my 8:30 am presentation. And then shift to the morning papers.  I scan my calendar.  I complete the Morning rituals. I’m done early.

The gear box is misfiring. Where’s the pre-game anxiety? Where’s the morning email missives? Where’s the pullin’ Locomotive?

The noise-canceling earphones and the music player are dialed up. I’ve encased Myself inside Myself. Myself and Bob Seger, Against the Wind.

My phone vibrates signaling a text from Rachel — she’s two trains behind me. Hi Daddy! I send her a link in reply: FDA Panel Backs Kythera Double-Chin TreatmentThanks Dad. Another genetic beauty mark that you’ve passed down to me. I chuckle. She’s mine. Not yet 7 am and she’s counterpunching. That’s My Girl.

The train enters a long, slow curve into Manhattan.  Rachel is leaning into the curve, behind but with me — her electronic Hi Daddy, Oliver’s soft wind, like a belt of silk, wraps the house.

We’re in the tunnels. The normal pulse escalation zone. I’m watching the Commuters scrambling to gather their bags to prepare for ejection.  I’m watching. Sitting. At Peace, Calm and Centered – with Seger crooning in the background. Damn de-stabilizing. Mad-Man turned Zen.

I let the masses pour out of the train and clear. I follow behind the herd.

I exit out onto 42nd Street and Vanderbilt, and she catches me catch her eye.

I’m OFF. Again. FAIL! Commuters Creed: Avoid eye contact.

Her face is beaming, her hand outstretched with a brochure. Piercing sky blue with white clouds lettered with Bible Crusade.

No thank you. 

She looks disappointed. I ponder for a moment. 20 commuters darting through the doors at the same moment and she picks me. She caught me today. Of all days. An off day for me. I look like I need Saving. Is it so Bloody obvious?

Another two young ladies on Madison are crusading. I avoid eye contact.

And yet another young Young Crusader stands on Fifth Avenue, at which point I sharply veer off 42nd Street (which appears to be God’s street this morning), and head up to 41st.

I put adequate distance between me and God.

And Seger is just wrapping up:

Well I’m older now and still running
Against the wind.
I’m running against the wind.

Notes: Art via heyelley. Related Posts: Riding Metro North Series.



  1. I used one of Bob’s song lyrics in a short story too…Here I go….Turn the page… Funny how great music sticks around. Great ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And each time you board, we ride with you. Perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ah you cant avoid God somedays ha! My ride to work is not nearly as interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was on that train with you. Nicely told.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You so had me at “Hi Daddy!” and the rest was pure bonus. Perfectly told, it was as if…as if on the train too. Thanks for bringing us along on part of your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How I love these posts, DK. You set the hook in the first couple of sentences–“soles snapping on the rock salt crystals” –I’m immediately in the moment with you, feeling that biting wind against my cheeks, then melting at “Hi Daddy.” So, so good….

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yep…every time one of your children is brought into your story, I can feel it in my heart. The Crusaders always get me too, by the way…I must look like I need saving as well. Either that or they see the T-shirt I’m wearing with the word “Sucker” on it. Thanks for sharing your world, David. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Great piece David!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahhhhhhhhh!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had to laugh at the misfiring gearbox. Familiar sound. And then get all mushy at the curve into Manhattan. Beautiful writing, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i love your silk thread connection to rachel. madmen zen warrior. saviors. music. all sharing a small planet at the same point in time and place.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love that line, “Hi, Daddy!”—from a woman going into the world, confident in her roots and knowing she will always find shelter. Invincible.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Wow! So full of life and atmosphere…a fav type of writing and you do it very well!! (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

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