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.