LXXXVI. Urban Mythology -

I’m sitting on a metal radiator-like ledge in Starbucks. I am balancing this laptop on the top of my crossed thighs that I occasionally have to uncross and then cross again in another manner so that the blood circulation in my leg resting on the metal radiator-like ledge, and that is holding up the other leg-cum-laptop, does not get cut off.

I am freezing and there is a warm-looking baby in a carriage in front of me and she’s off! And I’m here, waiting to go where I have to go in thirty-eight minutes.

This whole scenario is quite odd.

Since I left for college 4 years ago, all I wanted to do was graduate and become a New Yorker again, and furthermore, to embrace more of NYC than I had ever done previously.

My wish yearning has materialized.

I’m going through Metrocards like it’s no one’s business, I’m interning and learning. I’m traipsing through Manhattan, making trips to Staple’s, lugging 30 * 23.5 inch easel pads.

I am finding my trains not running spontaneously and find myself having to figure out alternative routes to reach home.

Yesterday on my 4th train ride, I was squished between a burly man and a self-proclaimed “crazy aunt” with her understandably upset nephew.

She was trying to cheer him up and asked everyone to join her in singing ‘Jingle Bells.’ The guy on the other side joined in and both started singing to each other while I was squished in the middle. So help me God….

I’m listening to holiday music in Starbucks. Now, usually I would put on my headphones and listen to sufi, Hindi, or Punjabi music.

Not today; Today I’m listening to the generic holiday music, sipping on my non-fat-milky Awake black tea.

I have to do this. I have to drink tea instead of coffee. I have to try and not resist the music coming from the large speakers with my comparatively small headphones. I have to reach a zen.

I am a New Yorker and truth be told, I am stressed about small matters, for lack of better words.

I am sick of smelling foul breath in the over-packed train or hearing the revolting gum-chewing sound in my ear. I do not want to see any more rats on the train tracks. I don’t want to feel my body tremble as the train screeches for a good sixty seconds, afterwards swearing I had incurred some kind of hearing loss.I don’t want to be squished against the train’s metal poles. I don’t want any of this.

So, let’s eliminate the problem.

No, I have to, and furthermore want to, do what I am doing.

I have to do what I have to do to be where I want to be.

I have to find a zen while receiving these battle wounds so that I don’t catch sepsis which I have only done throughout my academic life, so why not now?

Can’t I be a resilient twenty-two year old?

I think I can. I think I can.

I had a choice.

I could have gone home after working today, Saturday morning, but I didn’t.

I found my destination without the help of my smart phone. Instead, I had asked my fellow New Yorkers, most probably residents of Manhattan, where this street and that cross-section is.

15 minutes to go. Use restroom, make sure all 3 bags are being held, and take off just like that baby in the carriage.

I know I can. I know I can.