On weekdays, the 7 train is your best friend because it waits for you. Everyone here knows what a pain it is to get from the west side to the east side, and the 7 is one of the few ways to do it. But not a problem. The 7 waits on weekdays.
Weekends are a different story, particularly on Sunday. On these days, the 7 is a selfish son-of-a-bitch. It sees you running down the stairs and it clamps its doors shut.
“I’m tired friend, I gotta get home and I’m not waiting for your sorry ass. Wait for my sister, she’s 20 minutes behind me.”
That’s my typically Sunday. After church ends, I reach the top of the stairs just in time to see the 7 roll by, flippin the bird.
At that point, you begin to retrace your steps. If I hadn’t stopped to look at that building, I would have caught that damned train. If I hadn’t stopped to pull out the dollar for that guy on the corner, I would have caught that damned train. If I had brushed my teeth fifteen seconds faster this morning, I WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THAT DAMNED TRAIN!
It happened again today and it’s funny how the first thing I do after church is to curse the gods. It seems I didn’t learn anything at all.
But today, while I was waiting for the next train, I got to hear some wonderful poetry music. Subway performers are usually hit or miss…some have a lot of talent, others not so much.
But this guy was singing for his home in Africa. He was playing a percussion instrument I had never heard before. His voice was this grainy, haunting and soulful blend of nostalgia. His eyes were closed and he had a wispy smile that wouldn’t go away.
And I realized that if I hadn’t stopped to look at that building, if I hadn’t stopped to pull out the dollar for the guy on the corner, or if I had brushed my teeth fifteen seconds faster, I would have caught the train and missed the baring of a man’s soul to the world. What a tragedy that would have been, right?
Friends, curses and blessings are around us at any given moment. It just depends on what we’re looking for.
Because I missed the train, I came back $1.15 poorer, but all the richer for it.