Commuter Among Tourists

A Saturday morning ride down to a work event in the city. The train is packed and there’s endless chatter. I’m sure I was the only one who dragged out of bed, stepping on the train without a thrill. I often have my face glued to window, enjoying the views and capturing the moment. Today, I was riding backwards with mental blinders on. Not enough coffee this morning. No casual dog walk. No family breakfast. I think I needed that kind of Saturday. 

At every stop day trippers file on. They found a parking space; they found their friends on the platform; they managed to figure out how to buy a ticket from the machine. They have their coffee and water. And I smell egg sandwiches, maybe a hint of scallion cream cheese. Their chatter cuts through my ear buds. I’m a commuter with sensitive ears. I’m a commuter who’s spent tooamu rides in the quiet car. 

I’m happy for them. There’s nothing like hopping on the train for a day trip. I spend the greater part of my day cooking up packages and campaigns to get folks on the train for pleasure trips. It’s the job that most days doesn’t feel like work. But, it’s a Saturday; a summer Saturday. What was I thinking? Did I consider how draggy I would be?

I’m a commuter, heading home on a train to the Hudson Valley. For the train full of tourists, this is a joy ride along the Hudson River. For me, I’m feeling squeezed out by the two 20 somethings that talk like they’ve had way to much Starbucks. Noise cancellation headphones would be the move on this train. Pulling into Peekskill, my seat mates just asked what station. They paniced, thinking they’d talk and missed the conductors call for Beacon. 

I’m a commuter watching the sun break through the late afternoon clouds. The closer I get to home the more I sit up in my seat. I just passed a cluster of kayakers on the Hudson River. They were enough to spark it for me. The view was undeniable. My seat mates faces each other, watching videos on their phone. I sat with my back to them. My eyes glued to the window. I’m a commuter, but I’m a tourist at heart. 


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