Walking to subway in the early morning dark. In a drought and the wind is blowing and its so very dry and it feels like the apocalypse. There is a fire truck down one street with very bright multi colored lights swirling and noiselessly blaring. Just a few cars whoosh by. Turn a corner and now a car with a flat tire paddles by and pulls to a stop. There is a fellow pedestrian eerily behind me looking far too normal in his non descript jacket and heavy backpack and big glasses. Homeless man pushes a shopping cart in the middle of the street. Maybe he was once wealthy but got bombed out and this is the post nuclear holocaust and I just forgot because I’m in a drug induced haze because I’ve been heavily medicated since the blast and my breakdown or maybe I really am trudging to the subway at this hour."Love is the infinite placed within the reach of poodles." - From Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
I walk past my gym where I will be be later today and there it is crowded with early morning exercisers and this seems more like life than the seeming hell I’ve been walking through. Reach the subway steps walk down their agonized urine soaked bricks to the brightly lit area where people rush about and one pathetic looking creature mumbling insanely asks for money and he reeks.
Down to the platform where it is five minutes before my train will arrive and the usual bench where I sit is littered with shards of broken glass from a liquor bottle that has been smashed nearby and there are sullen looking people about staring at their i phones or newspapers or the stained ugly walls or their sad functional shoes and soon it is four minutes until the train comes. Not enough time to bother getting my book from my backpack and opening it and start to read and so I am trapped in my brain with my thoughts and there are too many so I sift through and select some important ones and by then the train arrives and I get on finding a seat not too close to the man talking to himself near an old couple chattering much too gaily for this hour but what can be done about such people. My wife is always ready for happy conversation once she opens her eyes but I need time to get accustomed to being conscious again and all that entails like the reality that comes pouring in to my brain and all the processing I must do.
My nose is not buried in a book and never is. My nose always remains attached to my face as it should be serving vital functions like allowing me to smell and holding up my glasses. But I do read. The driver of the train makes long-winded announcements at every stop particularly the transfer stations. Reading is thus interrupted as he rambles on feeling helpful and dutiful. A few people get on and a few people get off and we zoom through the tunnel under the bay and in 20 minutes are in San Francisco. I take the escalator up past the bustling station to street level where my trolley is already waiting. I rush on sit and open book again. After a few minutes I am drowsy being at the tail end of a cold and so I close the book and close my eyes and fitfully sort of sleep until my stop which is conveniently at the end of the line. I buy two bananas and walk the few blocks to work and there I start my work day.
Full of energy and life and dedicated to the proposition of a day’s pay for a day’s work. Amen.