This is a Bronx-bound 4 express train

When I moved to New York City last July, I had my misgivings. The city smells like hot garbage in the summer. The sun sets at 3:45pm in the winter. The subway is stifling year round and you never have any space to yourself, ever. 16 months later, I still feel all of those things. NYC is overpopulated and over stimulating and I do not feel at home here. But it is my home, for now, and sometimes it isn't all bad. 

This is not a blog post about growing to love New York City. This is a blog post about growing to tolerate the subway. This is a list of little moments that made me forget, for a minute, that I was in a metal fart can crawling beneath the city at 30mph.

1. Once, I sneezed really really hard and this woman shouted "bless you" at me from the other side of the car. I nodded at her to say "thank you." She shouted back "if you win the lottery today, remember who blessed you." She was wearing a pink fleece and had on a huge striped scarf and she looked like a character in a children's book. I didn't win the lottery but I will NEVER forget who blessed me.

2. There's this radiolab episode about a man's dead parents that he thinks are haunting his house and I was tearing up because it made me so sad. I'm not a subtle crier. No one batted an eye, except for one kid that stared right at me. He made sure I knew that he knew that I was ugly crying. I respected that.

3. I fell asleep after the company halloween party because I let my friend Kelsey talk me into taking one single tequila shot. I knew better than that, but I took the tequila shot anyway, and so I fell asleep on the train at 9pm. It was not the first nor was it the last time I would fall asleep on the train. But this time, a man gently poked me to tell me we had to switch trains, and then stood next to me to make sure I didn't fall asleep again waiting for the next train. I didn't fall asleep again (that time) but I appreciated his help anyway.

4. The day after the election, the trains were completely silent. That never happens. It was eery. But I made eye contact with every single woman, and no one smiled, but we were together and we were okay.

5. I was sitting across from this adorable little boy. He kept making faces at his mom, but she was looking at her phone. So he glanced over at me, and I stuck my tongue out. Then he stuck his tongue out. Then, for the next 25 minutes, we made weird faces at each other. Everyone around us was loving it. When the man next to me tried to get in on the contest, the kid looked at me like "get a load of this dude! this is our thing!" and I looked at the kid like "strong agree!" and we both ignored that man and kept making faces at each other until it was time for me to get off the train. I miss that kid every day.

6. There was a woman crying very subtly, masterfully really, on my morning commute. I barely even noticed except suddenly, a literal angel crossed the train and handed her 3 tissues and a makeup remover wipe. The crying woman accepted these gifts and blew her nose. The angel said "girl, I'm sorry. But whatever happened, it will pass. I promise." And the crying woman nodded, thankful, and promptly wiped off all of her mascara. It was a really high quality makeup remover wipe. The makeup came off so easily!

7. This morning, I saw the most babushka looking babushka I've ever seen. She had a cane. She had a million knits on and a shawl over her head and she was a little hunched over and she could have been a hundred years old. I gave her my seat and she patted my head and I immediately googled "does a head pat count as legal adoption" because I really hoped it did. 

I might never feel at home here. But I'm working on it. And these moments on the train, even though they're far outnumbered by bad smells and bad train traffic ahead of us, help. 

 

 

Writing Is Serious

So I said I'd post something every month. Then I didn't. I skipped July. In August I did 30 days of drawing. Then I skipped September.

There's not really an excuse. One blog post a month is incredibly manageable. It's not like I'm writing theses or tomes. My last post was a list of imaginary parties I'd skip to sleep! But even though I pretty much only write jokes, I take it somewhat seriously. I want them to be funny and new and actually good. 

Sometimes my standards for "funny and new and actually good" are too high. Sometimes they're not really standards at all, they're just a list of reasons not to write. Sometimes they're stifling. After all, I'm only a writer for the attention. 

Recently, one of my Creative Directors asked me if I write every day. I said no. He said I should try. I said "great idea!" and then I did not try. Not that day or the next day either. But then I was bored, so I decided to try. I wrote a haiku about my water bottle. Then I wrote a haiku about every single thing on my desk. Here's a sample:

Fitbit

Getting to 10k

Is really NBD

My pants still don't fit

Easy Mac

Easy Mac 'n Cheese

In my second drawer always

You would fuck me up

Anti-Phishing Certificate

Don’t click the spam links

IT is tricking you, duh.

Can’t reel me in, bitch!

I actually wrote about 15. I wrote one about the Paddington Bear my mentor gave me for basically no reason but that I've kept on my desk for 3 years and 3 jobs anyway. I wrote about my empty lunch Tupperware. I wrote about my headphones. Several about messy stacks of paper. They were silly but they were fun and I felt better. 

But then I got tired of writing haikus, so after my long 2 day streak of writing every day, I stopped writing for approximately 20 days. And then today I decided to start again. Not with haikus, but with limericks. This time about the contents of my backpack.

Vyvanse

A bottle of a drug called Vyvanse

Helps me do things, like water the plants

My ADHD

Does not control me

Thanks to the concentration this grants

Bills Bills Bills

Like 12 crumpled up unpaid bills

Ironic, because of those pills.

Don't worry, I'll pay 'em

I just checked. The grand sum?

Twelve dollars. Incompetence kills!

Snacks

A lot of snacks that I just won't eat

Mostly, they're just not a good treat.

I don't want a raisin

I'd rather be grazin'

On some sour candy so sweet.

Keys

The keys to my Brooklyn apartment

Tucked into the small front compartment.

This rhyme scheme was bold,

Nonetheless, behold:

I’ll finish by using “department”

I wrote 7 more of these. Some of them were funny. Some of them were sort of bleak? All of them made me want to clean out my backpack, which I won't do until next time I want to procrastinate writing, I guess. I spent way more time trying to wrestle with this squarespace template than I did writing the poems and this blog post combined. But at least I did it. Maybe tomorrow I'll write a sonnet. Most likely, I won't write anything. But there's always the day after that!