Tuesday evening. Downtown Manhattan. I’m hailing a cab. Rich food swims in Chardonnay. Wind bursts chill the bones: Winter.
I flip on Waze with an eye out for a cab – 16 minutes to Grand Central. The 8:36 train departs in 18 minutes. Unlikely, but possible.
“Be great if I can catch the 8:36.” This is NYC Cabbie code – a much larger tip in it for you if you giddyap. It’s the American Way: Proper incentives = desired behavior. I buckle my seatbelt, grip the armrest and hope for the best.
He bolts through traffic – Rabbit with lock on the Carrot. Think bumper car or go cart sans contact, with the same weaving, bobbing, braking and jarring.
We arrive at the station at 8:36. I run to the gate, hopeful for a train delay. I watch the fading red tail lights down the tunnel, wheezing, trying to catch my breath. Damn! Next train, 30 minutes.
I walk to the next gate, board the train, find a seat, and get comfortable. Chardonnay burns off. Fatigue rolls in, eyes are burning on four hours of sleep. I pop in my ear buds, turn on soft ambient music, lean my head against the window, and close my eyes. Just 10 minutes, please, just 10.
The smartphone buzzes in my pocket, a text message. Let it go. Just let it go. [Read more…]