Riding Metro North. A Voyeur.

6:25 pm train home. Tuesday. It’s been a very long day.

I’m 8 minutes early. I find my aisle seat, set my bag down, remove my coat and place it on the luggage rack overhead. I close my eyes, and pause. My right hand clutches my iPhone – activity is frantic inside the device. News. iMessages. Emails. Work. All churning forward. Just let it be for a moment. Rest. Let it be.

My eyes remain closed. Thoughts flicker, and latch onto Jack Kornfield’s “Your Mind: Friend or Foe” as he passes a cautionary road sign, “Your own tedious thoughts the next 200 miles.

I hear footsteps. She settles one seat up and to my left. She slouches in her seat, knees up against the seat in front of her.

She scratches items on a yellow note pad with a 2H pencil, her to-do list for tomorrow.
List fills, too far away for me to see details. Neat, on the lines. Cursive.

She then grabs her smartphone. Pans through a long list of emails. Then text messages. Then back to emails. Then back to her yellow note pad, to jot down another to-do.

She puts down her phone, and stares out the window. Hair, shoulder length, rests on a light, Patagonia windbreaker.  Clean, white sneakers, must have a long walk from the office to the train. Her heels tucked in her bag.

She lifts her phone, and scans more emails. Sends a few more text messages. Flicks through a few web sites. For some reason, you can’t take your eyes off this woman, her show, her frenetic activity in her private space. A peeping voyeur.

She lands on Instagram.

Her index finger pauses and slows with each turn.

She’s ingesting the photos. Her restlessness calms. And me with her.

Gardening tools.

A Hothouse. Her fingers skim the text below.

Orchids.

Large, round Beefsteak Tomatoes.

Grapes, sweet, green, plump, hanging heavily on vines.

She transfers the phone to her left hand, out of my view.

She’s rubbing her index finger and her thumb on her free hand.

Gardening? Her hands in dark, cool, dirt? 

She sets her phone in her bag, and shifts her gaze out the window.

She reaches back in her bag to grab a thick, oversized sweater. She wraps herself in it.

And sleeps.


Notes: Photograph: Joshua K. Jackson

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Things we do with our ‘devices’ … ‘My right hand clutches my iPhone – activity is frantic inside the device. News. iMessages. Emails. Work. All churning forward. Just let it be for a moment. Rest. Let it be.’ … and more!

    Like

  2. Always looking forward to you Riding Metro North, and Walking Cross Town posts.
    Read this calmed me down, slowed down my heartrate. And now I’m wondering why I needed to be calmed at 7am on a Saturday.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You know these are my favouritie posts of yours.
    And so, for the first time, you admit to being a voyeur 😉
    Being so, gives us these great reads…
    Have a nice relaxing weekend, DK. I shall continue getting ready for work…sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Loved the exchange above – even your conversations can be frenetic! Observe…😉

    Liked by 5 people

  5. What a luxurious outtake and turn from the external pull and drive of weekday work. How easily we apply our own perspectives on to others.
    Find your own break/middle ground and soak it in. No one else has the answers. 💛🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We could call it stalking or being nosey, but I too have a deep interest in people and their stories. Maybe it’s your way of connecting to others without talking, by stepping into their world and seeing their unique story from their perspective. In doing this we remember we are all human. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A bloody great post

    Liked by 1 person

  8. self-soothing at last

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fascinating journey this was – and then she went to ig for gardening!!!! GREAT, great, great….. That’s what I do. When I need time to think, to cool down, to slow a pace or three, I work in the garden, in summer I water it, that means 90′ with a hose in my hands and my head and mind fly free – sometimes I read (and often have to throw the book away at the end of the read because of water damage)…..
    And now, for dessert, I get Sawsan, Dale & DK plus a host of other guests in a fascinating ball-game of opinions, decisions, turns and dances! You’re a great bunch of people.
    BRAVO Sawsan, for knowing when to pull the brake. I got off from my bestest ever job with the reasoning that I couldn’t work for them any longer because I felt I had to leave my soul at the reception desk….. I was ‘threatened’ that ‘You know we will never take anybody back who is leaving US’ and I had to say: I would never have handed my resignation if I’d think I’d work for you again.
    Amen to all of the above – I’ll go for a cool drink of water, this exchange has left my thoughts whirring in my head and my heart beating with sheer exhaustion.

    Liked by 2 people

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