08 December 2014
The Good Commute
The New York City Subway was designed to sweep us swiftly around Manhattan. Before joining my fellow commuters underground, I take a moment to compose myself. I expect all seating will be occupied on the approaching train and anticipate standing. There is a possibility that all but one space on the railings will be grasped by New Yorkers en route to work. Personal space is an imaginary concept during the rush hours. Therefore, I must prepare accordingly. I organize the essentials inside my tote, keeping it close to my person. My fully charged iPod takes up residence in the pocket of my navy duffle coat, although I often leave it silent. I keep my speaking to a minimum when the steel doors of the train open. I do not engage in conversation via phone. If I meet a friend while traveling, we keep the volume of our conversation to a whisper. To shatter the silence of the crowded car would be highly inconsiderate. The commute, if executed in a structured manner, is a peaceful component of the daily routine. The astute New Yorker leaves her apartment early in case a rail breakage, fire or signal failure ensue.