Riding Metro North. With SkinnyPop.


Michael posted it. I chew on it.

“The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much.”  Germain G. Glidden.

Like a needle stuck in a rut, it churns.

The older I grow…The older I grow…The older I grow.

It’s Monday, an unexpected break, with two cancellations. I mosey cross-town to catch an early afternoon train.

The hallways in Grand Central, teeming in rush hour, stand empty, resting.  The board flashes Track 106, departing in 30 minutes.  30 minutes. 30 minutes. 30 minutes.

The stomach growls. I circle the snack bar. Once. And then twice. And then back again. Snickers Bars. Doritos. Mixed Nuts. M&Ms. Papers. Magazines. Sodas chilling. An oversize bag of Jalapeno SkinnyPop. Bingo. I grab the bag and a Kit-Kat Bar.  The tattooed counter man lifts his head from the NY Post, “Bag for this?

I step into the last car, it’s dimly lit.

The older I grow…the more I prefer to sit by myself in an empty train car.

The older I grow, the quiet can’t get quiet enough.

I settle, tear open the bag and dive in. Quiet Car, but for the hand-to-bag-to-mouth-and-back motions crinkling the bag.

“SkinnyPop. No artificial ingredients. Non GMO. Gluten Free. Diary free. Peanut free. Tree nut free. Preservative free. No artificial flavors. Zero trans fat. A good source of fiber. And DELICIOUS. We believe in snacking without compromise. …That’s the skinny.”

The older I grow, the more I savor junk food.

A fat, black fly emerges overhead, two empty seats up. Half-blind, parched, stuck in this train car all winter, it circles lethargically, starving, dazed from the pull of buttered popcorn.

It agonizes – should I approach this beacon, is it a warning, a signal or a celebration?

It decides to approach.

It drops down to floor level, and sits for a moment resting, intoxicated by SkinnyPop.

I watch him, he’s twitching, unsure, fearful. A Giant sits between him and his survival on the floor, crumbs of SkinnyPop.  20 years ago, you would have crushed him, twisting the heel of your shoe on his existence with all of your might.

I reach into the bag, he freezes.

I place two kernels on the floor, kick them over with the heel, grab my bag and move to the other side of the train car.

The older I grow, the more it matters.

The more it all seems to matter.



  1. A little gentleness creeping into that last mouthful?😉 I’m with you…the older I get…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “No man ever steps in the same river twice,
    for it’s not the same river
    and he’s not the same man.”

    ~ Heraclitus

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The older I grow, the more I appreciate wisdom, like yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The older I grow. The older I grow.
    Leveling. Leveling. Leveling….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The older I grow, the more keenly aware of the instances in which I realize, ‘There but for the grace of God…’ I’ve come to appreciate the potency of small gestures, little kindnesses, simple goodness, and honest effort more than I ever did before. My husband told me this morning that he loves waking up next to me. A simple comment that is now lodged in my heart. Beautiful post, pal….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Going soft in your old age? Don’t let your staff see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s wonderful to grow older, David. You chewed it, I digest it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the bfg – gentle giant you have become dk.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had to chuckle about how you are eating junk food on the train. Didn’t you write a piece about a young woman who ate chips or something like that on the train, and it was so disgusting? But when you’re not in a crowded compartment, it’s different. I love how you left the fly behind. I hope it cleaned up the mess. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Respect for the smallest, most ignored/disliked creatures. I’m glad that happens, at any age.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The older I grow… the more I seek the gentle things.
    Loved this, David

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Slowly but surely with age, the clouds of illusion become thinner and we learn to see what is. I love that I see more in my old age! and your post describes this beautifully Dave. Bravo 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “The more it all seems to matter”….It does matter. We’re just becoming wise enough to understand that. Love this post, Dave, and your kind heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have no idea what SkinnyPop is, but the older I grow the less I trust lengthy disclaimers on bags of food about what is and isn’t in them. There is something they arent telling me, I’m sure of it.
    Call me cynical, but SkinnyPop? My ass.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It has to be a Skinny Pop to be acceptable. No surprise there. But what was surprising was the gentleness you extended to the fly. Growing. Definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I knew I’d missed something important.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love that I see more in my old age! I have no idea what SkinnyPop is, but the older I grow the less I trust lengthy disclaimers on bags of food about what is and isn’t in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love this post, Dave, and your kind heart. I love that I see more in my old age!

    Liked by 1 person

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