Courtesy of MLusk at Weather Records

More on the World Cup : Ok Oh and the Art of Illegal Streaming 

The espresso machine is having a crisis of confidence.  The handle on the toilet is having separation anxiety.  For two years in a row I've gone to the Polish auto mechanic to have my car inspected, and each time I've failed.  The car has failed.   The first year, promising to return to the Pole for the fix, I took it to the Colombians. Last year, also promising to return to the Pole to have the fix, I took it to the Koreans. This morning I return to the Koreans because the elderly mechanic had warned me, upon finishing the fix, about a continuously spinning fan.  He said it in such a nonchalant way, without even a hint of pressure, that I had to return to him, months later, a time frame he had prescribed,  to have it looked at.

It is an interesting thing in this city to join in a stranger's commute.  Today I walk all the way down Myrtle, past the park, past the projects and through the palazzo near the hospital.  On my way I also pass three Black men, two in matching blue t-shirts and work jeans, one with baggy black shorts and a do-rag.  "I remember when this place was alive.  Things were happening on this street.  What happened?" 

The train and the station and the people waiting for the train at the station and the people getting off the other trains at the station are all strangers to me.  I remember the fundamental shift in perspective six years ago when I switched from commuting via the L and 6 trains to commuting by the JMZ.  Besides no longer having to force myself into an uptown bound cattle car, the very nature of the people commuting with me seemed different, creating a whole knew space in which to think and read.  This morning I am sure everyone knows I am new. I think for a moment the girl sitting near is drawing a sketch of me in her notebook.  Upon closer inspection she is designing a dress.  I am sure the pretty girl with her hair pulled into a bun in the black dress keeps glancing at me.  My wife claims the attractive woman to attractive man ratio in this city is unfairly skewed.   I feel the uncomfortable urge to reach out and touch the large orange 'O' in vaguely Swiss font printed in the middle of the mobile phone advertisement above the seats, over people's seated heads.  I reach out and touch it.

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