Walking Cross-Town. Not Autopiloted. Not Missed. Not Today.

It’s Hump Day. Darlene shared a wonderful video on a camel farm. In watching it more closely a second time, I catch that the camels are raised for meat. And that, was the end of that. So Caleb is taking a break this week.

Tuesday. 5:48 A.M. Metro North train to Grand Central. Train on time. Plenty of seats. No tourists chatting in Quiet Car. Everyone bathed, B.O. full contained under sprays or sticks. Fully rested with 7.5 hours of sleep. What’s up with that?

End of July in NYC. That means one thing in the train tunnels. Suffocating heat. It starts around shirt collar, sliding to jacket collar, and then sweat drips from neck line down the center of your back. It really is something special to start your day.

Walking down the tunnels under the tracks to the exit. NYC, in the top 5 of the World’s Greatest Cities. Ceiling panels missing. Electric wires protruding down, a mere 6″ above your hairline. Large giant garbage pails capture water dripping from God knows where. Giant floor fans stirring air, cooling nothing, moving around heat. We’re so much better than this.

I approach the escalator. Turtles stand on the right. DK, passing on left. Winded at the top. Too old for this sh*t.

Dark Sky app says 77% F. Heat Advisory. Wind 2 m.p.h. – 2 mph? That seems high. Nothing moving in the atmosphere here. Humidity 1237%.

I cross street. Garbage fermenting somewhere. Demolition crews are hauling out refuse on carts into large dumpster. His mask hides his face. White dust coats his black tee-shirt. Asbestos. What a job. DK, what could you possibly ever bitch about?

I cross 6th Ave. Man, Caucasian, 5′ 8″, black suit, white shirt with open collar, no tie, all seemingly put together. He approaches shopkeeper hosing the sidewalk in front of his store. He looks at him, smiles, and shouts: “Great day to be alive, isn’t it? Oh, what a great day to be alive.” Shopkeeper gives him a glance and gets back to his washing. Happy Man knows to avoid Man With Hose.

He comes directly at me. Eyes lock on. I shift my bag to my left hand, freeing my right. I step off the sidewalk onto the street. “Come on Sir, I’m not going to bite you. Be neighborly.” He sees nothing Friendly. He moves on to the next victim. This is now, 7am in the morning. No rest for the shysters.

I’m approaching 7th Ave. I wait for the light to turn. Building has been under construction for over a year. Same homeless man, occupies His nook. He’s here all-weather, all-season. His home. He shuffles over to the construction foreman. “Hey Jack. Can you lend me a cigarette?” They are acquaintances. Certainly, not the first time. “Lend you a cigarette? So I can be carrying this guilt for killing you with another Marlboro?” They both laugh. Homeless Man carefully grips the cigarette, like he was cupping a baby bird. Foreman offers him a light. He takes a deep pull on the cigarette and thanks the foreman. “I’m half dead already Friend.” Nobody laughs this time.

I look up. Times Square neons are blazing. I’ve never heard of the ad, or the company: BideaWee. Hmmmmm. What a coincidence. I grab my smartphone and snap two pictures. This must be a message for me. Zeke, gone now, 3 years next month. Who would have thought…A Rescue Shelter. In Times Square, among the Calvin Kleins, the Broadway Shows, Amazon, Toshiba, and more. That message was for me. For sure.

I cross the street. A few hundred feet to the office. Was it that today was so interesting? Or was it that you just noticed Life around you? Which is it DK?

And melancholy sets in with another bang-on passage from A. K. Benjamin’s “Let Me Not Be Mad: My Story of Unraveling Minds“:

“Sleep down to two to three hours per night. I walk five yards; it takes forty-five minutes. The level of detail in every step is thrilling, phenomenally overloading. Ecstasy for a moment, then sadness, that so much is unnoticed, so much of my life has gone by without my noticing it, missed, autopiloted, unselected, lied to.”

missed

autopiloted

unselected

lied to…

Comments

  1. You’ve missed far less than you’ve noticed…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay First Up; guy on happy steroids that early in morning in NY?! Def on drugs ha! Each commute you share is like a book in the making and we all love watching it through your eyes. Second off! 3yrs since Zeke? No way?! Love the sign, and the thing about signs…they are there to be seen and acted on. Do it. It’s time DK. 🐶🐶

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m with Karen, pal, cannot believe it’s been 3 years since Zeke passed! But I, too, believe in heeding the signs we are given. Time to bring a new fur ball into the Kanigan household. You *know* you want to. Just think…a new running buddy, someone to sit by your side as you scarf your evening pint of Talenti, someone to snuggle in by your side for a lazy Saturday afternoon nap. And as always, loved the reportage of this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. each an every observation, all signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Three years….seems and feels like yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Relax... says:

    Surely, the City (and smaller, more personal melancholies, like Abe Lincoln’s — what good company you’re in!) is why God invented John Denver. (WTH, why not adopt a camel? NY won’t notice for a while!) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know where to start with you today!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Give up! That’s where I would start if I were you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Laughing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • We notice what is ours to notice! The billboard was yours to notice. And look at the response from the CEO!

            And yes, somedays it feels like everything is talking to us.
            And why can’t you be neighborly?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Many of our neighbors on Todd Lane, like Janine, arrived within the past five or six years. But some have lived on the street much longer than that, by which I mean they probably have memories of me as a child. And yet we rarely greet one another with more than a wave. And that’s fine because, frankly, when do you work into a conversation the difficult details of your life? Am I supposed to give them all the information for their benefit, to explain my eccentricities? Maybe I should put up a sign? Yes. Let’s all have signs up and down the street announcing our personal disasters and disappointments. That would be helpful, perhaps even neighborly.

            ~ Jessica Francis Kane, Rules for Visiting (Penguin Publishing Group. May 14, 2019) 

            Liked by 2 people

          • No, neighbors are like siblings. We don’t have friendly. We only have to be civil. Yes, I said it. Because no one else will say it.

            Liked by 2 people

          • You go Sawsan. Lead the Civility Charge.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear David, Coming across this blog this morning made my day. I am thrilled that you saw our billboard, that you looked up, you noticed, you took it in. Thank you for sharing! I welcome you and your family to our adoption center any time you want to come and meet our amazing pups and maybe welcome a new family member into your home. Feel free to call me personally if you’d like. I’d be more than happy to help.
    Sincerely, Leslie Granger, President and CEO – Bideawee

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow Leslie. I learned of Bideawee yesterday from a billboard and today I get a personal reachout from its CEO. You are something special. Thank you and thank you kindly for your offer.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        You are very welcome! We are lucky to have generous donors who provide the billboard time,and even more lucky to have people like you who learn of us because of it and let others know too! Leslie

        Liked by 2 people

  9. well, well, well – I think my head is imploding – first that ‘morning’ of yours with seeing for the first time that ‘It Is Time Buddy’ billboard, then your evoiding that friendly Happy Man, noting the kind Foreman, but still living in your own sterile world…. you ripped my heart out Mister!
    And now a message by the CEO to get ENFIN your new dog….. I’m sure you merit all that and nobody would be happier to see you with a pet again, but I wonder if you are able to *see* all this, if you can take it in and adopt not only the idea but also the pet. I so very much wish you could…. I wouldn’t want to live in your world; it’s too stressful for me – but I’d take the dog – anytime!

    That camels-to-eat story; now I’m really getting sick! The whole video is a huge lie. I mean, Dubai ‘the ideal place for a woman’….. anything else with that, anyone?!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Like Sawsan, I don’t even know where to start.
    Since we are all fans of Caleb, of course we can’t wrap our heads around camel meat – but we eat lamb, beef, pig… I’ll stop there.
    The Universe works in mysterious ways. Circumstances brought you to notice the sign. Maybe it is time. You know if it is or not.
    That was some cheerful dude…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Give me a small town any day. Your description is so graphic I could smell, taste, feel, hear, almost touch it, but most of it is so ugly. Sorry, DK. This city life would make me so unhappy. But you write it very well and while I enjoy reading it, I feel immensely sorry for you. Also, so sorry to hear that Caleb is in the slaughterhouse today.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I guess sometimes you have have to just stop and smell the garbage… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. We would never ever eat Caleb!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Christie says:

    Last week we watched, A Dog’s Purpose…I so cried…and as I write a commercial “The Art of Racing In The Rain” and my sweet pup is looking at me, he wasn’t feeling well yesterday and thankfully some plain creamery yogurt got him back on track! Oh, how we dog lovers unite! Great piece of writing… encouraging to know that you had lots of sleep, last night…we had maybe 4 hours of broken sleep over a nine hour period…we just couldn’t drift off…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am left speechless

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christie says:

    Amanda Brook walks a “came”l named “Ted” up Sixth Avenue past Brooks Brothers after a photo op in front Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

    https://caveviews.blogs.com/cave_news/2010/11/camel-walks-past-brooks-brothers-on-sixth-avenue.html

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Christie says:

    What? I know you are a Brook Bros. wearing man…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So much here. I think it’s a good thing to know that we’re mostly asleep, but just as a byte of information, not a cause for despair. We can’t possible take it all in all the time. That way truly lies madness. So we have these moments when our sleepy eyes open a little more, still filtering the intake through our judging filters, maybe shifting our perspective a tad so that we feel *changed.*. Sometimes we can hold it, sometimes not. It’s all just our human way—carnivore or vegetarian.

    Liked by 1 person

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