Brooklyn, March 15, 2023.

I walk out of my home at around 720 in the morning. A soft stench hangs in the air. A combination of shit and leftover onion soup left out all night.

I walk towards the El as I do each morning. I see garbage left out on the street for Wednesday pickups. Stained dirty sidewalks, windy day trash circling in the wind, no doubt sharing it’s fragrant aroma with the shit and leftover onion soup left out all night.
On the platform the wind continues to blow colder wind than January or February.

The train arrives and I jump in and find a whole row is taken up by a man with his underwear exposed and in a deep state of sleep or death, no idea and I ain’t going to check.

I squish between two people, not being the smallest of people, I am met with upset faces as if I am intruding on their rendezvous. I sit regardless, fuck em, I want to sit.
Tired and feeling old today, I am only 56 or so, the idea of taking up a whole bench and closing my eyes seems kinda tempting, but not really.
Thankfully this F train is going express to Jay street. Slowing down and getting off now.
The A train is not waiting as it normally does, of course not. It’s ok, I get the chance to look around at the commuters and create stories about each.

There is the 30 something year old woman reading a novel, she is wearing jeans, and a burgundy short coat. Carrying two bags, a school bag and a large pocket book. She has dirty blonde hair and is wearing a mask with Winnie the Pooh on it, as if that is one way to express herself or to assuage her uncomfortable idea that it is still a reality. My idea is she is bringing the school bag to her child who forgot it at home again. Her husband just finished his overnight shift at the hospital, she lets him sleep. She works as an assistant in a investing firm on Wall Street, up for a promotion in a while. Though she hasn’t gotten her degree, she is still much better at her job than most, yet…

The A train comes in and I let it go as it’s overcrowded.

She has left and I am taken by the sight of a man with a sloppy excuse for a beard. He wears a dusty coat, black jeans and black boots. A derby hat covering his black hair. He is 64 years of age, but tries to defy that reality by dressing like a millennial and pretending to read a book with is popular with that set. He has no true identity as he has lived his life as a chameleon of sorts, always wanting to fit in and be liked.
The C train comes and I get on. It’s packed but I know it will clear up on dekalb so I get on.
No smiles on this train. Everyone on their headphones, airpods or reading something.
West Fourth Street and another exodus. A Mets fan walks on, I smile, I get a dirty look back. He is from somewhere but not from here. He is listening to something on his wires earphones and stares around paranoid. It turns out he is from Bloomington, Indiana and has been told horror stories about New Yorkers. Been told to try and blend in by wearing a local teams hat and look down and angry. He looks down and angry but doesn’t quite pull it off. He is going to his job at an Italian restaurant, where he is a sous chef and bus boy, waiter.
34th Street and I walk off the train. I see a lady with short blonde hair, she is yawning without covering her mouth as she exhales. Gross, I think to myself as I attempt to avoid the exhaust from her. I go through the turnstiles and walk up the stairs to 8th avenue. A man is sleeping on the stairs, a used needle still in his arm. I walk past him and I feel a sense of sadness. This young man who could’ve achieved something is left stabbed and barely alive. Ignored and betrayed by the government who are supposed to protect its citizens.
I cross 8th and head towards 9th avenue and 35th Street. A stunning lady walks past and she brightens up this morning. She smiles and she walks by, noticing my smile. I guess I’m not that creepy.
I walk and pass the Well Come hotel and then the Tryp.

Tourists line up waiting for New York to be New York.
New York is always New York, for better or for worse.
This was my morning and now I am off to work. Thank you for spending this morning with me.