Tuesday, April 12, 2011

These Lights Will Inspire You

Sunday was a whirlwind worthy of Oz proportions, except my train didn’t do anything as epic as kill an evil witch or gift me magical shoes.

My train left at 4 a.m., so I was downtown at the train station before 3:30. Lucky I was, because the train was early. I checked my bags, said farewell to my mother, and hopped on a train of unconscious people. I was the only person who didn’t immediately fall asleep. It might have had to do with the fact that they sat me beside a surly stranger who waved her Internet access in my face before also passing out.

I finally got bored enough to go spend a ridiculous amount of money on breakfast in the dining car, where again, I was seated with strangers who seemed to think I was infringing upon the luxuries granted them as royalty coach passengers. They seemed disturbed that I didn’t enjoy my half cooked eggs and bland grits. They also kept speaking Spanish when they didn’t want me to eavesdrop. I insultingly dubbed them as Nikki and Paulo, though the scene was more out of a certain train-themed Sex and the City episode than any from Lost.

I passed out as soon as I got back to my seat. Of course, this is when my surly neighbor decided she needed to wake up and go to the bathroom. I would have punched her if she wasn’t obviously bigger, stronger, and sassier than I.

The hours went by quickly as I came in and out of sleep and my seatmate decided to lighten up. After all, she was playing “Thriller“ on a loop on her iPod. I knew she couldn’t have been terrible.

I stretched out after she departed and slept soundly until the announcement for Newark, NJ shot me out of my sleep. I looked out the window and saw the Manhattan skyline. I had 15 minutes to make pillow lines disappear and to quell a panic attack.

We rolled into the far-less-spectacular-than-the-original Penn Station where I had to ask a police officer where in the hell I could find my luggage. He was obviously insulted I’d interrupted his staring at a clipboard. I should have realized the man had more important and pressing priorities like standing than pointing behind his head.

Next thing I knew, I was all bagged up, emerging on the streets of New York City. I had to force my head not to look up, but man, my peripheral was having a visual feast.

On my way to the subway stop in front of Macy’s, not only did I successfully disperse a man asking me if I needed a job, but I steamrolled over half of the people walking around me. A cute Japanese woman saw a dollar fall from my pocket and gave it back to me. NYC and me were pretty much instantly vibing. P.S. I had no idea where I needed to go to catch my train, but went instinctively to the right spot. Suck on that, nerds.

I knew my Liz Lemon would come out from hiding eventually, and the subway station is where I found her. I held up the line at the ticket station, but hey, at least the chick behind me seemed just as clueless. I then had to figure out a way to slide my Metrocard, while squeezing myself and three bags through a turnstile about the width of Calista Flockhart. I ended up getting through with two while the other one cried out to me from the other side. I reached back and shoved it underneath with a bit of ungraceful wrestling. I ran down the stairs to see what I hoped was my train about to leave. I threw my body and bags in with such a strong force that I startled the little lads I sat beside.

I enjoyed having 20 minutes to sit on the subway, but as soon as I reached Astoria, I was stuck at another turnstile. This time I got stuck in between two metal bars with an impending group of people rushing up behind me. I finally kicked my suitcase through and kind of jumped out of the anorexic mechanism. If nothing else, I am now a subway ninja.

My friend Stephanie came to meet me & whisked me off to her charming little apartment and neighborhood. We walked to a coffee house dubbed Waltz Astoria where she played in a Japanese relief concert. I sat on my ass, stuffing myself with both food and drink. Sidenote: donate to Japan if you haven’t already. There are a million ways to do so. Use Google. That’s what it’s there for.

We came back home, me wanting to take a nap and Stephanie wanting to finish Half-Blood Prince. I ended up sleeping until 3:30 a.m. Oops. Now I’m listening to the strange noises the Greek family upstairs is making while I attempt to tire myself enough to sleep again.

This covers the first gonna of my mecca to the Big Apple, but I’ve got 6 more days of gonnas to knock out of the park before my mission is complete.

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