Here I sit on the LIRR, knees pressed against the back of the seat in front of me. Usually women sit like this or teenage girls. Business men sit upright, drinking beer and reading the Wall Street Journal.
Doesn't anybody know that the news is forever a day late and a dollar short?
Kids press their noses against the mucky windows and prop their gum laden sneakers on the faux leather.
Some commuters sleep.
I don't know why but I've never been able to sleep on the train.
Sitting with my knees up is comfortable but only for a few minutes at a time.
I have old knees. Old like Brian Dennehy old, not like George Burns old. So, I shift back and forth, up and down and an inch here and there. Seems like a lot of work but it's a hard habit to break.
I love the 5:40 train. Especially during the spring time.
For the most part, the sun is at our back. Sometimes it peers through the windows from the South West, a subtle reminder that the day's not over until the sun calls it.
The train gives me time alone to review my day.
Was I fair? Was I kind? Was I selfish? Did I lose my temper? Did I listen? Did I judge? Did I hold the door for someone?
How can I be better? Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to make adjustments. I can always make adjustments.
The train passes things on the way to anywhere. Trains are forever passing things.
That's what trains do.
We pass Green Acres Mall and I think of my grandma and grandpa. They used to take me there when I was a kid.
My grandpa isn't around anymore but it's easy to conjure up his image.
I see an overly generic mesh baseball cap bought at the 5 & 10. I reminisce with the dancing mouse he'd make from a table napkin. I can taste the salt on the cashews and walnuts that sat in the marble dish. I hear the fizz of seltzer, freshly dispensed from an old fashioned blue glass bottle, fully equipped with trigger. I smell his Brut by Fabergé and I manage a half smile.
Small gifts, courtesy of the 5:40.
Perhaps this is why I don't sleep on the train.
In order to receive the gifts, you need to keep your eyes open.
Always remember to keep your eyes open.