Everyone is walking and talking. It looks as though they’re talking to themselves. Then I notice the earbuds. They’re oblivious to everything around them.
Post TIFF, I’m back to my usual routine. Rushing to the subway in the morning. Another delay announced. Some look stoic, others are visibly frustrated. This time the train is sitting at the station, with the doors open, not that one more person could squeeze in. Lately the delay announcements are brutally honest: “Personal injury at track level”, “Disturbance requiring police intervention”, and the frequent “Ill passenger”. But this time it’s something different. A man is walking on the subway tracks.
The trains are stopped until the police can get to him and persuade him to be safe.
Most of us leave the train and try to catch the bus. Once I see the huge crowd, I lose my enthusiasm for the bus and start walking south. It’s overcast and could start pouring any minute, but I don’t care. I’m stressed about being so late, but still keep on walking instead of attempting to catch the bus. At the same time, I think about the man walking on the tracks. How disregulated he must have been to do that. Or desperate. And yet so many of us were aggravated about being delayed.
After walking for around half an hour, I notice the subway train going south. It’s the part of the subway that goes above ground. I get to the nearest subway stop, catch the next train, miraculously get a seat and get to work around 10. I work late that day to make up the time, read the news at lunch, but no mention of the walking man.
Days can go by just like that. On the way home, I sometimes get off a couple of stops before my stop, so I can walk for a while before descending into my evening rituals. I walk by Heath, which is very quiet and self-contained. The trees look beautiful, leaves starting to turn.
I walk by the cemetery. It’s like a giant park. Then the new condo going up, overlooking the cemetery. It looks so flashy compared to the older condo across the street. It flaunts the enticement of newness.
I get home tired and energized at the same time. But not energized enough to read The New York Review of Books. I’m in a People state of mind.