This morning, I sat on a bench on the platform where the morning train carries its share of bodies into a constantly moving city. I faced south because the south side was the sun’s side. Its early orange globe began its hike above the morning horizon, and other than a few strips of pastel clouds, the sky was beautiful and clear.
Below at street level, Sunrise Highway scattered with an early version of life, which would soon congest with traffic, and angry drivers behind steering wheels would complain about other drivers on their cell phones and curse at the rearview mirror about the cars that tailgate behind them.
For a moment, everything was quiet . . .
The eastbound train was running late, but the westbound was on time. I see the westbound as the inhale of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station and the eastbound is its exhale.
Waiting on a bench instead of standing on the platform with people that wait for the train to arrive, and eagerly board without using the words, “Excuse me,” I decided to take railroad’s next trip into the city.
My drive to arrive early and behave like a good employee was gone and all that remained were my thoughts.
I must have blinked. August is halfway through and summer is near its end. Pretty soon the warmth will leave the sun and we will all enter into a different phase of existence.
As I thought about the summer that passed and the ones before it, the morning began to gain momentum. The platform started to crowd with men in business suits, holding newspapers beneath one of their arms, and a briefcase in the other. Women arrived in corporate attire, holding their bag in one hand and a tall white Styrofoam cup in the other with lipstick stained beneath the opened plastic tab where they sip their coffee from.
I said to myself, “I’ve been taking this trip for too long.”
Sometimes I feel stuck . . .
I feel as if my job is at a standstill.
I feel like I want more.
I need more, you know?
I need something more than just a paycheck
I want to do more than get by
Or be like the rest of the working world.
A friend of mine introduced me to a program that calculates how many days I’ve been alive. According to the program’s math, I have been alive for 15,308 days. That means I have 15, 307 yesterdays that I can do nothing about.
There are 15,307 days behind me, and try as I might, I cannot change any of them.
If I want to better myself, or have more, or find something better than just a paycheck, I better do something about day 15, 308.
Otherwise, day 15, 309 will just be more of the same.