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Jun 26, 2008

Deep Thoughts: A failed commute yields an enlightened journey

Today's commute ended with a bang... and I mean that in a literal sense. The moment my commuter bus emerged from the Holland Tunnel, a pompous, Mercedes-driving, imbecile side-swiped it... startling all the passengers, including myself, out of our usual daze. Many of my fellow riders proceeded to groan and mutter complaints about how this is the fifth time something happened with the buses this month - the worst being the time when the bus broke down on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Others who were already near their stop just shrugged and filed routinely down the single row and continued their journey to their places of employment. So there I was, stuck in the bus, waiting for the police to resolve the incident, ten blocks away from my destination... wondering if I should skip breakfast because I was going to be late, or if I should grab a quick, unhealthy croissant from one of the street vendors lined in front of my building. Hmmmn... choices... choices.

Then it hit me... instead of sitting and waiting for whatever fate had in store for the rest of my commute and my breakfast, I should take my destiny into my own hands. I have a pair of good, strong legs, after all. I exited the bus and quickly made my way past the driver and the Mercedes-driving imbecile, who were trading unpleasant words with each other. With the sun in my face, racing down my head and down my back... I was solar-powered! I took off making long, brisk strides. I had ten minutes to go before I could officially be counted as late. Now it didn't really matter what time I arrived at work, but it just made it all the more fun to give myself a time limit and work toward beating that limit. There were many distractions and obstacles in the way... of course there were the delis calling out for me to stop and smell the pastries and the delicious fried foods. There were also Sunday strollers and the usual tourists that stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures. But, those things did not slow me down... I weaved effortlessly through them, using the dormant Manhattanite skills that I left behind two years ago. Throughout my "journey" I actually felt real good! It was a beautiful day, and I felt free from the confines of the steel box I relied on daily to get me to where I needed to be. My body parts actually spoke to each other almost as if saying, "hey there... haven't seen or heard from you in awhile", and my heart seemed to sing with delight, as my eyes, ears, and nose took in everything that I have missed... the feeling of being young, fit, and free in New York City! Alas, my journey had to end... my ten minutes, which I reduced to seven, afforded me time to stop at my favorite deli, Maiden Heaven, before heading to my destination. Climbing up the stone stairs of the plaza, I thought to myself... where have I been? I'm going to do this more often...

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