Ride Through

Dear J-

You put your head down for one second and all of a sudden it’s the middle of October already. How did that happen and who let it happen? You string together a few nice days and then you’re gone, off and running towards the next milestone. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas New Years and it all starts over again. There are certain routines and schedules to keep, sure, but you don’t realize how much (wow, how much cologne is that guy wearing) you rely on seeing the same familiar faces, day by day, until you realize the one conversation you’ve had all day was on the train or the same six stops always beat the rhythm of clicking wheels and sodium lights. Burlingame – San Mateo – Hayward Park – Hillsdale – Belmont – San Carlos – Redwood City – Menlo Park – Palo Alto – California – San Antonio and then me.

I got to watch it through figgy’s eyes on Saturday, for which I’m grateful to have had the opportunity. Which station is next? It’s interesting in the daytime because I didn’t realize you could see the East Bay hills from the second deck, or the shape of things where the night makes more sense (does that sound right? What I mean to say is you grow accustomed to the sculpture revealed by lights at night and I’m surprised by how big or little the actual building is in when under the sun) or at least is more familiar. The familiar is renewed and we can see where we’ve been and what we’re doing passing far forward.

Here is another chance to … what, I don’t know. Look, the clock; another minute has gone by that I’m never getting back, or the dreadful night gives gradual way to day as you mark off enough time to keep the elevated elegance going continuously. A year from now, a lifetime ago; you ride the rails and make your way back to these same familiar places and did it ever seem so familiar, was the fare ever so cheap or were your metrics so advanced you couldn’t count off the stops from memory? The lights line up long the tracks and we and everyone else make a good argument for happiness and contentment, don’t we? We have to try.

Mike

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