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26 august 1999

the nice thing about a break in the routine is that it gives you a chance to look at life just a little bit differently. this morning the train was chugging along rather slowly, which might have annoyed most commuters. but as i looked out of the window i saw trees that i'd never seen before, houses sitting in the middle of nowhere (or as middle of nowhere as you can get while still being in the suburbs next to some railroad tracks).

and then the train stopped.

and we were stopped at this station for a half hour or so until they told us that there was a train going the other direction and that the tracks were all flooded and that they had no idea what time we were going to get going again and that we should probably just go home. i was actually considering staying on the train as something of a social experiment to see what would happen when people stopped being inconveneienced and started getting pissy, but i decided that doing that without food probably wasn't too hot an idea.

it's amazing what one common experience can do to bring people together though. everyone being stuck on the train, stuck on the stairs, stuck on the platform started to feel some sort of common bond. if it was the bond over telling the woman who was pushing her way down the stairs to shut the fuck up for a second, or the bond of trying to cram everyone back on the train, or just the scattered chuckles around the car as somebody announced a joking "tickets please!" to a crowd of wet commuters on their way home to call their offices to tell them that, in fact, there was no way they were making it in today.

and the last time i checked, the world hadn't come to a close yet. with thousands of commuters not being able to make it into the city we still have a fairly functioning society, which leads me to believe that maybe i don't really have to work so hard every day.

i also think it's a good idea for everyone to smile a bit more. the morning commute is such a dreary thing, and here were people forcing little grins at not actually having to sit behind their desks all day. lunch dates were being made, strangers comparing computers and cell phone services.

see, a break in the daily routine can be a useful thing.

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