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What I did on the train tonight

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fenderx55, Oct 16, 2005.


  1. fenderx55

    fenderx55

    Jan 15, 2005
    NYC/Queens
    This is what i wrote on the train tonight instead of my paper that's due tomorrow.

    Coming home is always really weird for me. By the time I get back to the house, all I want to do is go curl up in my bed, hung-over and exhausted, but my siblings want to see me and show me and tell me all the things they’ve done that day. I’m getting better at not barking at them. If I’m lucky I’ll sit with my mom and watch her make dinner and tell her about my classes or my new idea for a minor or a career that I can live with. I’ll go out and look at the water and note how the marsh is browner than it was the last time I was home. I’ll have an hour or so to relax and go pick my dad up from the station. He’ll ask about classes and grades. We’ll eat, and I’ll either have espresso and watch TV with everyone and go to sleep or see my friends, or I’ll just have espresso, watch TV and my dad will drive me to the train station and I’ll shrug off the money I need a lot more than I let on.
    Going back to the city: that’s the strangest part. It’s always dark, the train is always more full than I expect it to be, and I should always be working on a paper instead of just sitting here. Every now and then I’ll look up and glance out the window: Radioshak and Petco or Gino’s. Passed Lynbrook there’re trees and a lake, an outdoor hockey rink. It’s always something that reminds me why I like the Island, but still that thing that says, “****, you live in the city,” even if it really isn’t true.
    I go to NYU, and when you’re a student living in NYU housing, you’re not really a citizen—you can’t vote or technically claim a neighborhood—even if you have lived 40 minutes outside of the city (never Manhattan by the way) your entire life. New York University is an evil institution; they buy up all the property, those ****ing hipster kids are everywhere, ruining every good bar, raising the prices. I read the Village Voice, I know how it is.
    Then I think about how much I wish I could just move the seven or eight people I really love from Long Island to the City, just so I can live there guilt free and not have to make a little trip (which considering the lack of subway by my dorm turns into a ****ing trek) every time I miss home or home misses me.
    I miss driving a lot. Like, not having the stress of ****ing up my car and paying for gas is nice, but driving fast is fun. Unless there’s traffic; then I wish I was in the city and I could walk everywhere.

    Some of the most beautiful moments in my life have been in my car. My first date with the first girl I think I ever really loved was in my parents’ Honda Odyssey. And more recently, driving home from band practice at night (it doesn’t really matter when—it was more than once), when I’m not too exhausted to stay in the lane for the twenty-minute drive. I have the windows down, the wind blows past my ears, but everything is muted anyway. I have the Chili Peppers or Metallica or just K-Rock blaring so loud that it reverberates off the houses on Shore Drive and then is lost to the air on Merrick Road, dissipating over the one story shopping complexes where the Starbucks is or by the Mobile across the street from Dunkin Donuts on Bellmore Avenue.
    If I’m lucky, I’ll make that right from Shore onto Merrick Road and I’ll be the sole driver at One AM—too early for the drinking crowd to head home, too late for the high school kids to be picked up. If there are no cops in the Gap parking lot I can let my A4 stretch its legs and get it up to fifty or sixty miles an hour before I need to stop for a light or I see a cop in the Starbucks parking lot and stomp on the breaks. But in that five minutes of the wind rushing past my head, stinging my ears and forcing tears from my eyes, “Suck My Kiss” turns into “I Could Have Lied” and now the tears are because I’m so happy to be alive and driving this beautiful piece of machinery, and I JUST MADE MUSIC LIKE THIS. And it feels so ****ing good that I just start laughing and banging on the steering wheel. Then Nassau 5-0 pulls into the next lane and I slow down and pace him.
    By the time I’m barreling down Judith Drive, where the stop signs mean slow down and the speed limit around the bends is whatever I feel comfortable doing in a rally car, “Give it Away” is just starting and I think about driving around the peninsula until the album’s over. But when the driveway comes up I pull in, hitting the garage door button and closing the windows at the same time so Ali doesn’t wake up. It doesn’t matter, she still says, “Chrissy I heard you pull up last night. You play your music too loud!” I drop my basses under the bar in the basement and if I’m awake enough I sit with my laptop and talk to whoever’s awake and watch Howard Stern or a Daily Show repeat. At three I’ll crawl up to bed and my parents will be startled out of sleep by the change in pressure of an added body. One of them will cry out “Louie?”
    “No mom, it’s me, I was watching TV.”
    “You go to sleep too late baby.”
    “Mneh, it’s fine; I don’t have work tomorrow.”

    And this is what I’m thinking about when you see the ambiguously aged guy with the heavy stubble and the computer on the LIRR, looking faintly stressed out and typing furiously. Though more likely than not, I’ll be staring out to my right as each station passes and dreading the subway ride downtown to more homework and my loud roommates.


    Goodnight.