Friday, June 26

Trying something new

It wasn’t that because today is my birthday that I decided to try something new.  That probably had nothing to do with it at all, and in any event I’m way past the point at which birthdays are something to be celebrated. Although I’ve heard that when people get really old, like 90 and above, they often get the sort of enjoyment out of birthdays that otherwise only children experience.  Guess that’s because making it another year when you’re over 90 is quite an accomplishment!  In any event, today began in the usual manner, with the shuttle from Medford to Ronkonkoma.  The 6:56 to Flatbush Avenue was using M-7’s today, so I resigned myself to waiting for the 7:19 to Penn.  As I was waiting, however, I noticed that fewer people than usual were waiting for the 7:04 to Penn.  Generally that’s a train to avoid because it stops at Deer Park, basically a SCA-filled Ronkonkoma Junior.  The 7:19 is a safer choice because its only stops after Ronkonkoma are at Central Islip and Brentwood, two working-class, heavily Spanish-speaking communities with relatively few SCA’s.  Perhaps my birthday imbued me with a bit of recklessness, but just before the doors closed I finally made up my mind and boarded the 7:04.  I found a window seat on the 2-across side near the middle of the consist and wondered whether the SCA who would sit next to me at Deer Park would weigh under or over 250 pounds.  Over seemed like the safe bet.  Well call it a cosmic birthday gift or something, but no one at all sat next to me the entire way!  Such luck is almost unheard-of on a rush hour train.  I suppose, thinking more dispassionately, the fact that no one sat next to me is more likely attributable to the fact that ridership on Fridays in summer tends to be light.  Whatever the cause, it was a pleasant result.  I had a nice easy ride into Penn and then waited only a couple of minutes for a not-too-crowded 3 train to Penn.

I had a fairly long wait for a 2 at Fulton after work, not quite long enough to be annoying but longer than it should have been, but still got to Penn in time to get the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma.  It was moderately crowded when I boarded a few minutes before departure, but after some searching was able to find a vacant aisle seat on the 2-across side.  It goes without saying that except in rare cases I studiously avoid the 3-across side on M-7’s.  That’s playing with fire … okay, suffocation to be precise.  A 40ish woman was sitting in the window seat, and spent almost the entire ride to Ronkonkoma diddling around on her Blackberry.  Probably no other invention has been such a boon to the work-obsessed.  I spent most of the ride reading, except for the five minutes or so near Mineola when I was fuming, due to a delay caused by “signal problems.”  Friday afternoon delays are always annoying, today’s was especially bad because the family was taking me out to dinner after work and I didn’t want to be delayed.  We got to Ronkonkoma about six or seven minutes late, and because the other trains also were running late, the shuttle didn’t get underway until almost ten minutes behind schedule.  Which isn’t to say that I was sorry I hadn’t driven to Ronkonkoma, it was raining torrentially by the time we got there and I would have been completely soaked getting to my car.

Gym: what with the aforementioned dinner, no gym tonight.

Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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