The start of a long weekend and I wake up early, apparently no sleeping late for me. I sat in the chair wondering what or more likely where I should go. Someplace different, the small voice said. Someplace you haven't been to in awhile. I glanced at the clock and debated for 10 minutes whether I would have time to get dressed and head to the train station and go someplace different. The good voice won and being extra early I actually made it to the station in enough time to warrant not flying up the stairs with a minute to spare.
It was nice being on a train with hardly any people on it and actually silent. Something I really needed to be enveloped in. Not city silence, where you can always hear the slight hum of life going on somewhere but the kind of silence that only happens in those far off places in the country, or for me a forty minute train ride out. Trees that rolled on hills for miles and miles and long roads that seemed to go on forever in the distance. I could mentally unwind without the interruption of an outside force infringing on it. I sat on an actual hill by myself and thanked my lucky stars that I had ventured to this place that I hadn't been to in awhile.
The return trip that brought me back was quite different. Hundreds of people tired of silence, looking for noise and making lots of it too. I had no choice but to use static noise to drown them out. But before the headphones slipped in my ears I glanced at a girl who couldn't have been more than 14 years old having an argument with her dad and using phrases I never would have mumbled at that age:
It's only a two year contract, why can't I get one?? I need an upgrade. If you don't want the five dollar bundle then just cancel it. It's not fair! If anything happens and I'm in a place where my phone won't work...."
When I was her age my parents were yelling at me cause I would spend my allowance money on books, would wear shoes and jackets into the ground and refused to ask for new ones and if I needed to reach family in an emergency I either used a payphone or went to the school office to use a desk phone. And secretly wishing that I had the means to find my own silent space from everyone. The bus outside my mother's house was not an option and the alluring train station located downtown was off my radar except for the rare instance a family member came in by train.
I wouldn't discover that escape route for almost nine years later. And thank my lucky stars that I did.
Tales of Times Square: The Tapes - Author and musician Josh Alan Friedman was working for *Screw* magazine, covering the Times Square beat through the late 1970s and early 80s, when he wrote...
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