Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Riding to Work in the Year 2009

I'll miss commuting to work on the T.

Even in the dead of winter, waiting on the platform in the bone-jarring cold,

without my gloves again, I appreciated the opportunity to ride the T.

Even when the subway car was too full to sit, too full even to stand,

obnoxious perfumes of strangers in the morning giving way to sour sweat of strangers

in the evening, teenagers who listen to their music too loud and talk too loud (I always listen for The Flaming Lips' Riding to Work in the Year 2025),

all the faces reading and talking and sitting in silence, daydreaming, thinking,

the train delayed without explanation and all you want is to be home

but you overhear a man in khakis and duck boots tell his lady friend

(more interested in Teen Vogue) about the porcini salad he paid too much for--

despite these annoyances, the T still beats traffic jams.

I like driving to work without traffic jams--I don't like having no choice

BUT to drive. Riding the T can be an event. Riding the T can be banal.

For daily commuters, the T (and perhaps the bus) offers

small moments of grace, if we're willing to notice them.

I snapped these photos on my cell phone camera between January and April 2009.

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