Are You Listening?

After several over time shifts of work this week I found myself walking to the L after hanging out with a friend for a few hours after my last 17hour shift of the week. I was ready to get home and get in some rest when I transferred to the A uptown at 14th street. I came down the steps to the platform and there was a man in his 50s behind a drum set that looked like it was from Toys ‘R Us - was almost comical, even his smile. I stopped and rested up one of the supports of infrastructure and pulled out my phone to record for me continued series on here “Sounds of A City”. 

Mic check 1-2-1-2

I was in love. He began to bang on that drum set and sing out his love of home which I imagined to be the Caribbean. Everything was Bob Marley-esque. A couple of beats in and 5 trains later he started to perform “Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright.” I locked eyes with him and my life went into slow motion as his teeth became apparent beneath his lips. I stayed there fixed on him, so connected, for the next 2 trains until I finally stepped onto the A just after 7:30. Leaving 14th street feeling just passion in my body.

The train brakes released and we were off to 34th. Slowed to a stop. “Ladies and Gentleman we’re waiting for train traffic ahead of us.” The entire car slid their tongue over their teeth once and all let out the “suck teeth” noise with a sigh. The NYC struggle where most walk to from a job and life they hate and just want to be home, safe.

The train jolted back. 

"I’ve been riding the trains for 31 years" says this man sitting down in front of me talking to another man named Alex. "I’m an alcoholic" said the man. "You’re young, don’t waste your life like I did mine" - "But you look so young" said Alex. "I’m 51" says the man. There were other voyeurs as me listening in to their conversation. I saw one woman give the stank face as if she wanted the man to hush so that she could sleep the 23minutes it was to get her to her off this freezing train and to her doorstep.

There I realized how many gifts I possess. How everything is going to be alright, stay focused and stop. listen.

I have a second interview today and up for a promotion.