Riding Metro North. Vive la France.



2:45 am.

How quiet it is.
Too soon to wake.
Too late to stop the mind.
A hamster on the wheel, spinning.

Duras: “How quiet it is,” […] “Who’d believe our nights are such an ordeal?”

3:30 am.

In the Quiet Zone.
Ascending to de Botton’s higher consciousness. Or somewhere.

Alain de Botton: “Perhaps late at night or early in the morning (when there are no threats or demands on us), when our bodies and passions are comfortable and quiescent, we have the privilege of being able to access the higher mind …We loosen our hold on our own egos and ascend to a less biased and more universal perspective, casting off a little of the customary anxious self-justification and brittle pride.”

I do feel that ascension. Now if I could only park here.

6:51 a.m.

Father and his daughter walk to train station.  It’s 45° F.  “It’s cold Dad.” I look down at her bare red legs pockmarked with goose bumps: “Why aren’t you wearing nylons?” She snaps back at me: “Really Dad? Nylons. Nobody wears Nylons anymore? That’s creepy.

So, now I’m on the wrong side of 50 and creepy.  OK, so it wasn’t a focus area. And, it’s not that I haven’t looked at women’s legs. And there you are, a flat stone skipping silently across the water, jumping decades of fashion revolution.

7:15 a.m.

We’re sitting backwards on train. An acrophobic subject to motion sickness and vertigo, yet I’m strangely at peace here. You are sitting backwards and feeling great. There’s a message in that.

We’re in the quiet car. And it’s Quiet.
Yet, there’s dissonance in the stillness.
The papers are blasting Paris. Grief. Horror. Revenge. Politicians yapping.

7:25 a.m.

The morning sun beams in, warming.
Rachel sleeps, her head leaning on my shoulder with her hands crossed on her lap.
Warmth runneth over. If anyone laid a hand on her…
I set my Kindle down, close my eyes and look up into the Sun.

Mary-Louise Parker:  Now do like this,” you’d said, taking my chin and turning it into the sunlight, saying, “Close your eyes again,” and I did and you asked, “You feel that? You feel that warmth on your face?” I said I did, and you said: That’s the hand of God there, touching you.

God or no God, I do feel that.

8:17 a.m.

Father and daughter walk cross-town. NYPD Blues are Present. At Grand Central. At the front, middle and back-end of the Jewelry District. And blanketing Time Square.

“Have a good day Dad.”
“I love you Honey.”

I watch her round the corner to her office.

And she’s gone.

Ian McEwan in “A Message From Paris“: “Paris, dazed and subdued, woke this morning to reflect on its new circumstances. Those of us who were out on the town last night can only wonder at the vagaries of chance that lets us live and others die.”



  1. When you write of your daughter, I have no words and need tissues. Add Paris to the thoughts and I am dissolved.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “We can only wonder at the vagaries of chance that lets us live and others die.” Knowing this deeply, is why I practice living and appreciating every moment. Loved this piece David. Glad you feel peace and the warmth of the divine sun.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice story to start te day. BTW…I didn’t realize that nylons were passe’ either. I’ll have to fact check that once the rest of the house gets up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I commuted for years alone, a young girl to NYC. I truly wish I’d had a loving Dad by my side. Nylons huh? giggle giggle. I needed the giggle amidst the emotion. You’re a good man David. Grateful to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even I didn’t know that nylons were out…what does THAT say??? Well, I do know that creepy females do exist. 🙂 Anyway, such poignant writing. I feel like we are all going through each day blanketed in sadness right now. We look around and everything seems different for this moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This shimmers, pal, like a rainbow captured in the delicate skin of a bubble….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There are times when we reach down, all the way down to our toes. Further down.
    Perhaps below. To the very, very bottom of it all.
    Then, once more, standing straight and tall…we offer ourselves.
    In words.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Beautiful, David. Moving. Your words paint a vivid picture. Although I haven’t been to the “big city” for more years than I care to count, I can still see trips to the city on the trains, Grand Central or Penn Station, the crowds and the music of the city.

    And the image of you and your daughter traveling together in the early morning is priceless. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Touching on so many emotions on just an other day. Every day is special when we reflect and feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Another piece that pulls symmetry out of juxtaposed images. You really are a master at this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And. So many of us are creepy now. Comparatively.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Next time, David, you’ll ask “Where’s your leggings”. Exactly like that. And the creepy is history. Loved your writing, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. its wonderful you have this chapter to travel with your daughter. she may not remember the ‘creepy’ comment, but she will forever remember the warmth of being with her dad travelling in. ps I’ve discovered that their use of ‘creepy’ is the one word, that is guaranteed to zip my lip 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yesterday I was wondering the same ‘ wonder at the vagaries of chance that lets us live and others die.” Is it destiny or just chance?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. and each moment can turn on a dime. luck, fate, fortune, accident – all intersect.

    Liked by 1 person

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