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Thoughts : Commute

Thursday, April 26

I’m mostly writing this because I feel like clicking keys are the only defense I have right now over obnoxiousness. Clacking keys drive Scott crazy on the train but I have a feeling they won’t drive the guy next to me crazy because he’s so drunk I can not only smell it on his breath, but he sat on an empty soda bottle that was on the seat next to me. I mean, sat on it. I don’t know how that’s possible. I don’t think anybody’s ass is large enough to flatten a plastic half liter soda bottle enough to mitigate sitting on it for an hour. This is what is breaking me.

That anonymous comment this morning on my half-joking, half-true LIRR rant only upset me momentarily, until I had formulated a fair but firm response to it. But it + my usual shitty commute got me thinking about the part that’s not in that post, the part I don’t like admitting to because who likes to admit their weaknesses?

I wish I had meant none of what I wrote there. I wish I had a smaller personal space bubble, I wish I wasn’t claustrophobic on places like trains and airplanes. I wish I could ignore or—even better—not notice people’s rudeness. I wish, like sooooo many New Yorkers, I was blissfully OBLIVIOUS.

But I’m not.

And my frustrations with all of those things can leak out as snark. I don’t think that’s such a harmful way to deal. At least it seems better than other options—like the excessive drinking of the seatmate mentioned at the beginning of this post, whose initial muttering to himself dissolved into unintelligible gurgling noises by the time he got off an hour later.

(And at least I’m not alone in my frustrations or snark, as the comments on this Gothamist post happily reminded me.)

For the past month Scott has been “trial working” for a company that was looking for a full-time designer, but seemed open to negotiating to work-from-home and/or part-time, and then the owner said “never mind” after Scott had already worked out an agreement with the guy who would’ve been his boss. When this all came down on Monday, there was a brief moment in time where he was considering agreeing to full-time.

And I almost lost it—on the train, appropriately enough. Because I thought we were getting out of this. I thought the commuting was almost over. I thought the living in NY would be over in the next few years. I thought we had a plan. And then for a scary moment I thought—like those horrible stories of people’s whose partners leave them with no warning—maybe I had been planning all of this alone.

And I realized, I am so far at the end of my rope, with commuting, with NY, with having the same life that has not changed in 5 years, that I would do it alone if it came down to it. Maybe this is taboo, but my sanity is more important than anything or anyone, and it’s slowly crumbling under the the mind-numbing monotony that is my day-to-day existence. I look at all these people on these trains everyday, and they all look as fucking miserable as me. Just older. Worse for the wear. Often drunk. I can’t wake up in another 5 years and be one of those people.

I know right now I’m talking about a lot of big changes and plans that I haven’t even mentioned on this blog, and I know I’m horribly out of the loop and wrapped up in my own shit. (Wasn’t the selfishness supposed to recede after the wedding?) But I had to get this off my chest, and out into the universe. Changes are coming, and I don’t care if none of it is “safe”, financially or otherwise. Y’all can just point me right back here, to this day and this post, when we’ve living in a van down by the river.

And now back to my blogging sabbatical.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jo

    Hi, dear!

    That comment was AWFUL. Just totally ridiculous. And you handled it exceptionally.

    I hear what you’re saying about clinging to the idea of a change–I do it all of the time. If I wasn’t in school, I’d be just where you are…school is what is keeping me tied here. I’ve missed you.

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