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Sunday June 25, 2000, 03:05

Part I

I paced back and forth on the platform outside the silver tube known as the Harlem Hudson Metro North train to Bewster North. 4:48. I had thought that there was going to be a 4:18 train that would have gotten me in a 5:08 but alas I was mistaken and was going to be late getting home to get picked up to get brought to a graduation party at my friend's house being held for his sister, my sister's friend, both of them graduating this weekend.

The day had been spent in the city, walking, drilling holes in my feet with my shoes (still leather, my feet still skin) and enjoying the sounds and the smells of the city. And the heat. Which wasn't actually there. But was almost there. That was threatening. Looming. "In July," said the heat, "I'm going to be really hot."

And some shopping. Some. Not so much. But some. And some funny signage in the world, because the world is full of some funny signs. Which are all in my camera right now, and which wil be coming forth in days to come.

[ 06/29/2000 - funny signage: not a fire, resourceful underwear ]

I was again struck with the feeling that I did want to be back in New York. That a conversation that was had the other day solidified in my mind a problem with my world right now. "I don't like when people come and talk to me on the T," she had said, upon my mentioning that I like talking to strangers. For some reason, and perhaps more based on who I am now in my life than where, I am more willing to try to start conversations with strangers. And in my mind, New Yorkers are more approachable. Or. Alternately, the odds are better that you'll find a talking partner, there being so many people around.

I paced up and down the platform. I had seen her before, carrying a big box wrapped with green paper. Her pants were loud and she wore sandals. Black. And she was smiling as she walked back and forth in the station, waiting for a train. So I walked up and down the platform realizing that there were many seats still available, almost all the seats on the train were still available and realizing that it would be strange to sit down across from this woman simply because I felt like I needed to talk to her.

I got on the train and sat down across from her. "Does this train go to Brewster North?" she asked. And I answered in a soft, non-commital "I think so."

We spoke not a word for the rest of the ride, though I took time to look at her and smile at her when she looked at me. She had paint on her feet, and briefly before the end of my ride, I pointed this fact out to her. I then learned that she was painting her apartment, that she is a student at Parson's, that she is moving and needed to paint over her murals, and that the primer is not really covering up the blue and the red too well.

I recounted the story of the white floor in the theatre and the blood bubbling up from underneath.

She laughed.

I then learned that she too was heading to my town and that her cousin was graduating and that in fact said cousin's older sister was my classmate whom I just saw a month or so ago. A small world, she pointed out, and I noted that in fact the odds were much better that this meeting should happen given the fact that this train was making that stop upon its intended route and that we didn't really have any other way of getting there, or something to that effect.

I stuck my hand out and introduced myself. "I'm Alicia," she said. I think. I seem to have forgotten her name, but that seems about as good a name as any.

Part II

An examination of self.

When I tell people that I work for a record label they are always interested in the type of music that we deal with, whether or not it's fun for me, what exactly I do for them. When I tell people that I work for an internet startup (which is a term which does not begin to convey what an internet startup actually does), people instead say things like "So, guess you're making lots of money, eh? " or "I hope you got stock options with that." Little emphasis is put on the actual product, or on whether it's fun (though I suppose some of that creeps in at times). Instead, focus shifts to the money, or the potential for the money.

It is a world that most people don't understand and almost take pride in not understanding. They take their computer illiteracy and carry it as a trophy. They understand it in their portfolios (in certain circles), but to them, the Business of the Internet is just a clump of millionaire waiting to be joined by a couple of more millionaires. How they get their money is just geekspeak and could just as easily be ignored.

It upsets me to work in an industry where people don't really care about what I do as long as they know that I could one day join the elite club of people who made a lot of money by shuffling bits of data. Because that, it would seem, is the true sign of success in the life of today's "young person."

Part III

They tell me at work that business is cut-throat (my word). That business is mean, and that lying is encouraged. And that "by any means possible" applies to just about any facet of running a business. They painted a picture of business that I never want to see.

Or work in for that matter.

16:08

A followup to part II. This came about after watching a special on the Disney channel watching teen icons Jessica Simpson and some other guy talking about their dreams and following their hearts. About making people happy.

I have none of those talents. I've got to find my niche somewhere else.

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