Saturday, October 18, 2008

the train

My Brooklyn sublet ran out this morning, and I had made no arrangements for myself. I got up early and packed up all my things into my guitar case, backpack and suitcase. It was the first morning I had woke alone in a week, and the first day since I got to the east coast that a cold wind greeted me as I opened the front door. Her high heel boots clicking on the sidewalk, a girl wrapped tightly in a scarf walked hurriedly by and a couple in new winter jackets wheeled a baby stroller. Leaves floated down from the shaking trees in rusted hues, and the air came right through the thin sleeves of my button up.

I piled across the turnstiles onto the subway platform and leaned against the closed doors of the L train with my guitar case standing up in my hands, rattling along. I transferred trains and hauled all of my things up the hard steps into Penn Station and bought a ticket and a magazine.

Now I am barreling through rural Vermont, where the turning forests passing outside the window rush into a fiery blur, and fields and little white houses, rivers and corroded steel, crumbling concrete, old smokestacks, vine-covered factories, bland office buildings and the occasional shiny sedan or bright plastic fast food marquee, litter the landscape.

I could have stayed in New York. I have couches there, and floors, but I just wanted to sit down and take something in for a while. My knee is busted and my feet are sore, I’ve been roaring through those underground tunnels, walking quickly down those crowded streets, seeking refuge out at the tip of Manhattan, in the hundreds, or way up in those skyscrapers, and now, all of a sudden, I have no reason to be.

I needed to not be bumped into for a minute, to just be headed somewhere, anywhere, for a long while. I have no goal for the next few days. I can’t recall a stretch of days without a goal in my recent history, but then again, the goals have all been changing – And the world itself is changing faster and faster, in my life, in the lives around me. I’ve been having this feeling in the last few months like waking up from a vivid dream, and the last few years trailing behind are dissolving, the events getting smaller in the distance until it’s hard to connect them or tell them apart, and all the worries, they just don’t scare me so much anymore. The future is just as hazy, but this moment is precise and detailed as a feather or a molecule, as an engine or a desire.