Now with special sauce.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Drunkard on a train

I ADORE living in NYC, but there are some moments it can SUCK SUCK SUCK...riding trains home after midnight, drunk, is definitely at the top of the list. Unfortunately I can never afford cabs. It has been a while since I experienced something like this here, though I am no stranger to it.

Right, so I went to an awesome party last night and evidently drank a bit too much wine. While I was there, I knew I was having fun, but at no point did I think I'd had too much. It wasn't until my incredibly retarded journey home that I realized I might not be right, and I definitely shouldn't have been attempting the trip home alone, by subway, at this very late hour. I wobbled my way to the subway station, and automatically went down to wait a very long time for the train. I put some song on my ipod, I don't think I chose an entire playlist, as I was going to pick something else once I got on the train. I remember the train pulling in, and me getting on. The next thing I know, I wake up and we are stopping at the Whitehall Street station. Being that I live in Queens, this is definitely not where I should be. As the train was pulling in, I realized nothing was playing in my lil' ear buds, and took them out to put them away. As I hobbled out of the train to go on the other side of the tracks to head the RIGHT direction, I tried desperately to remember what one song I had listened to before passing the fuck out on the train. I still can't remember. So I am standing on the uptown side finally, waiting. I understand the dreaded agony of the late-night wait. I mustered up as much patience as I could find, and refused to put my ipod back on. I knew it could help the agony of the wait, but I wasn't too in the mood to listen to anything, since I was angry at myself for not noticing which direction I was heading before...and I didn't think I was in any condition to be leisurely enjoying my ipod on a subway. I don't know how long I waited there. A homeless man was taking up one of the benches, and the only other people in the station, who had gotten off the train I did, were sitting on the other one. I could have sat with them, but for some reason I just didn't want to. So I remain in between the two benches, propped against a pole. After a while had passed, something made me feel like pacing, and I paced near some signs that had service changes on them. My drunken head eventually processed some very important information. There are no uptown trains from that station over the weekends at that time. I reread this numerous times until I understood it properly. What the fuck? Why can we walk down there to wait for the trains, if none will ever arrive? Where's the fucking tape stopping us from walking down there? Where are the signs or announcements? I realize I only paid $2 to go the wrong direction home tonight, but I just don't understand why they are alright with customers waiting stupidly on the platform at 2am-ish with no idea that they will never get home that way. Seriously. So I climb the stairs and ask the station attendants. I ask how to get home. They tell me to go upstairs and get the 1 shuttle to 42nd street, or the 4 or 6. They don't tell me how. I find myself near the Staten Island the windy fucking cold, and there is nothing to point me in the right direction. The only thing I can see is that the 1 train is in the station the Staten Island Ferry comes to. So I head over there. The doorway to get to the 1 train is gated. I begin to cry. I ask the man working there, who says to go outside to get the shuttle. "Where???" I ask. He mumbles some streets as I walk out weeping. I just wanna go home. I walk to the streets he mentions. There is absolutely NO indication that I am where I ought to be. I have to walk back down into the original station I came out of. Still weeping, I return to the lady asking "WHERE do I go?!?!?!" One of them does come out of the booth to walk me up the stairs and point me in the direction of the 4/6 train several blocks up the street. He is still talking about some shuttle, which I still can't fucking find. I weep all the way up the street, knowing that I need to pay another 2 fucking dollars once I get there, and knowing after that long-ass wait, I will have to get off at 59th to wait AGAIN for MY train. I just wanna go home!!!! I need not mention once again my state of weeping as I waited FOREVER at that station. Then a 1 train comes, where the 4/6 should be...and I get on, never fully knowing if it is running on the 1 line, or the 4/6 line...I just remain confused and hoping to GET HOME. I remained painfully conscious on this train, thankfully, until I arrived to 59th street. I angrily made the transfer there to the platform to my n/w train. I sat down and waited. It was FREEZING in there. I shivered like a junkie in withdrawal. I kid you not. I was in hell. I just wanted to go home!!!! I wept a bit here as well, as I did throughout various other moments of the trip. I was pissed off at myself for being stupid, at the MTA for not providing info and charging me more money to get home with all their changes, and mainly I was weeping for the week I had. I just worked a few days at a new job for people who don't know what they are doing, with several hard-working people, without any idea when or if we will get any money at a restaurant that shouldn't be open yet. I hate being taken advantage of when I give people the benefit of doubt. I do feel like that wait was at least 30 minutes if not more. Finally, an N. I am comforted, knowing I am finally heading where I need to be. ..
The next thing I remember, I awake sitting in a freezing train in a station. At first I thought we had just made a stop and the doors would shut and we'd be on our way again...I could see where I am, and know how many stops were left. But we just sit there. The cold wind floods into the car, and my junkie shakes return. I peak further out of the train and see that I am now sitting at the end of the line in Astoria, at Ditmars. Only one stop past where I live, but still. I slept through my motherfuckin' stop!!!! What the HELL is wrong with me? I had NO idea I was this inebriated, but yes, I was. Now, when you are at the last station of the subway line, the trains hang out there for a while. I don't know what they are doing with them, but they take a long while to move again, especially at this hour. So here I am, waiting once the fucking cold...getting angrier at myself that I got that intoxicated before riding the subways home. Yay me. I stay freezing and pissed off conscious...finally we start to move again....finally my stop...I run home, it's that cold out. I don't run, but I ran last night. Finally I am home.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Slap o' the holidays

It is the first day of 2006 and I woke up around 3:30pm. I am 28 years old, and I still thoroughly enjoy having days where I can do just that. So, the big holidays are done, and so is another year. Where the hell did it go? I know I'm not alone in the shock of how quickly time seems to pass from year to year. I may be one of the few people that just couldn't accept it this year though. I don't know exactly why. Was 2005 so great that I just don't want it to end? That can't be right. All I know is that, as Thanksgiving quickly approached, I couldn't comprehend how it could possibly be time. I knew it was coming whether I was ready or not. I knew that as soon as I woke up from that turkey coma, it would suddenly be time for a Christmas tree and presents and figgy pudding. (Okay, strike the figgy pudding. I have never encountered figgy pudding, and I don't know that I ever will.) I knew that, even as the final notes of every Christmas carol were still blaring in the stores, suddenly New Year's eve would be here and I would be required to welcome the festivities with open arms in celebration. I knew all of this, but somehow I just couldn't enjoy it all. From the moment the quickness of these holidays slapped me in the face, my head lay drooped to the side where it landed after the blow. My eyes glazed over and drool may have slipped from my lips. Inside, my mind lay marinating in denial, exactly where it wanted so deperately to be for some reason. "It isn't TIME for this, an entire year can't possibly have passed!" "I guess I ought to get a Christmas tree, but not YET!" Even as my mind refused to believe time was passing, the parts of my soul that always enjoy the holidays attempted feebly to enjoy itself. My inner child would scream out at moments, singing along to Christmas carols as I visited stores, but was abruptly silenced when the reality of having absolutely no money to buy anything for anyone set in. Somehow the days shot past and we never got a tree for the apartment. I never even got out my christmas cds for their annual enjoyment. Things just weren't right. ..>

My body ached from days working in the bitter cold streets of NYC via random miscellaneous jobs all month. I dragged my aching muscles home to Pittsburgh for the holidays, aboard a luxurious greyhound bus. As my stubborn mind continued to resist the holiday spirit, I started wishing I had enjoyed it all more. I even started to look forward to next year at holiday time. I started to think that, even if I didn't feel like it was time yet, I was going to revel in it next year. I would buy a tree as soon as I possibly could. I would hang the Christmas lights that are still in my closet from last year. Whether I had money or not, I would at least send out some Christmas cards. I might even throw a holiday party! I started to get a little giddy thinking how much I would enjoy next Christmas no matter how fast it hit me. Then I realized it was December 22nd. Christmas day had yet to happen! I dunno, it was a very strange moment. It was too late to do all the fun things leading up to the big day, but it wasn't too late to enjoy this one. It was the opposite side of that initial slap o' the holidays, slapping my face back in the other direction to even me out, to shake the contents of my garbled mind back into the moment.

So I suppose I should have some sort of resolution going into this brand new year. I'm not big on resolutions that happen only once a year. I am generally in favor of attempting to make any necessary changes or adjustments all year round, as necessary. Regardless of that, I feel it absolutely vital to make one this year. I can't possibly allow time to get ahead of me this way anymore. I mean, I know it is going to. Somehow it is the nature of time. The longer we're alive, the more memories we have, the more things we hope to accomplish and the less time it feels we have to accomplish them. Every year I'm alive time gets faster than I feel like I can handle. If time went at a speed I was comfortable with, I have a feeling it might never pass at all. We need these holidays, whichever ones you celebrate, to keep us moving, while at the same time allowing us to pause and enjoy some silliness in between. They force us to spend the quality time we need with everyone we love, and help us feel more love for some of the people we'd rather not have so much quality time with. It becomes the best time to let go of whatever the hell we're holding onto from the last year and breathe in the new one, always being reminded to enjoy each present moment because a new one will be here whether we're ready or not!