There is an old saw that if you've gone halfway to someplace you might as well go all the way, because going back to where you started would take just as long as reaching your destination. I have very little experience with taking actual trips and deciding whether to turn back halfway, but I have a lot of experience with this theory as it relates to public transportation in New York City.
Mainly with buses. The issue is that for it to be worth taking a bus you have to be at least a half mile, or so, from where you want to go. Otherwise you might as well walk it and save the wait.
The other issue is time. You can walk a half mile or so in about 15-20 minutes, if you're moving briskly. Now stick with me as I explain this, it is just about to make sense.
I had JUST missed the bus. I was about half a mile away from the F train, which I needed to get to the Brooklyn Navy Yards before they closed. I could walk it and get passed by a bus, having wasted all my effort, or I could wait it out, and hope that one comes soon. At night the buses are supposed to come every 15 minutes or so, but there is no guarantee. This is New York after all. I decided to wait it out.
And I waited, and I waited. It was getting later and later. Soon it was a little after 7:00 p.m. Bus after bus drove by our stop, all with signs saying they were out of service. It was drizzling. At the stop with me was a mother in a wheel chair and her little son. What they were doing I don't know. But even THEY got tired of waiting, and soon rolled away. I felt extremely sad for them, they looked like they needed help, but off they went. Meanwhile I kept waiting. Because now, surely, the bus will finally drop by because it's been so late. It's a strange paradox. And then I waited some more, proven wrong, once again.
Not to drag this out too much, but eventually a bus FINALLY stopped for us. I got on, and in due time it took me to the F train, where I walked down some more stairs, and awaited a train. In due time that finally showed up too, and off we went, at last.
It was getting later, and I still wasn't sure about my instructions. The train was crowded and wet, although I fought for, and finally found, a seat. The F runs above ground for part of its trip, once its on the Brooklyn side, and I looked into all those apartments, with all those people. Do you ever wonder what happens to them, what their story is? Or the people on the other subways that pass alongside you as you rail out to wherever your life is taking you right then? I do. It always looks like the set of a movie to me, although that movie, unfortunately, is "Shortbus."
As we finally approached York Street, the stop where I was supposed to disembark, I decided to stay in the subway and just ride on through to home. It was now 7:50 p.m. and they closed at 8:00 p.m. I didn't know for sure how to get to the Navy Yards, and I only had a few minutes to spare now. I decided to merely suck it up and pay the extra money they would require to storage the car. I would get the Honda tomorrow night, instead of killing myself to get it tomorrow morning. Because if New York has taught me anything, and that's debatable, it's that Murphy's Law is really the only law, and if something can take longer, and I can get lost, I will. So I said screw it.
Once back home I saw Randi and told her what happened. She understood. Stella was fussing, so I went into our bedroom and laid down and sang to her. We made up a lullaby for the little girl, and sometimes at night when she can't sleep I will sing it to her and then hum it to her, after a couple of choruses. She's almost 23 pounds now, and, really, the strongest reason we even have a car. It makes it easier to get around with her, and drive out to see family. And buy things from Target and Ikea. Which we do, quite a bit.
The next day I went to work, like usual. It was Thursday. The plan was to ask to leave work a little early to get the car. My boss, Mike, had been kind enough to understand what a monumental PITA this whole ordeal had been. I was lucky.
Work itself was another normal day, if any day in a collapsing economy can be said to be normal. Hear enough about record job losses and it starts to make you think. But I try not to worry too much about such things, and hope that by working hard and putting out a quality product I will show my value. So that's the plan.
I left slightly early. Now it was really raining, like buckets, like cats and dogs. I got off the York Street station once again, after checking the directions three times. I was in Dumbo, my old stomping ground.
An enthusiastic, if still amateur guitarist, I was privileged to have been the lead player in a rock band for three years. We were called Connecticut, and over the course of a few years we got to play in a variety of settings and clubs, including the old Meow Mix (the lesbian club made famous in "Chasing Amy") and the Knitting Fact0ry, which helped me realize a boyhood dream. I loved being in the band, but bands are made to be broken, and break up we did. Still I harbor fond memories of Dumbo, which is where our practice studio had been, and might still even be.
We practiced in a loft "owned" by a guy named Mike, who had been a producer on MTV's "Beavis and Butthead." I think Mike originally squatted the loft back in the late 90s, before Dumbo became tragically hip. When I first started going down there for band practice in 2000 there was a bar between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges--called Between The Bridges, natch--some bodegas and not much else. Now the area was aswarm with yuppies and their little stores.
And rain. It was raining for real, like sideways sheets in your face no matter how you walked. I had an umbrella in a rare act of foresight, but wasn't sure of my directions. So I got walking, hoping they would lead me right. They didn't.
To be continued ...