I’m more than fairly certain that my commute is killing me. The morning hour and ten is an hour and ten away from my family. The evening hour and ten is another hour and ten away from my family. Two hours and twenty minutes, five days a week. And that’s when the subway is running smoothly, which is pretty much never. I love my job, but the commute makes me hate it, loathe it, want to punch it in the ear. I know I’m not the only one who turns to real estate porn after particularly frazzled TTC experiences. Look at all the beautiful houses I could buy for a fraction of the cost of my house and I could work at home in pajamas. No commute! A giant lawn! no 5:30am alarm wake-iup!
(Tell me again why I am doing this?)
So, yes, the commute is killing me softly. Or, actually, hard and rapid, it’s killing. I thought I would have lasted longer than 6 months. I thought it was just going to become a part of what I did. The rat race. They say that people love it. They love it.
I do not.
On Friday afternoon, though, on a day I was feeling particularly down, a day I was ready to throw in the towel and just call it quits forever, something happened. Something completely unexpected. I got on the subway as I always do, at 4:06 on the dot. I sat down beside my favorite kind of seatmate, the hipster student. He was all decked out with all of theÂ accouterments, save for the Pabst Blue Ribbon can. I pulled out my phone to read the second half of The Sisters Brothers. And then it happened.
My buddy the hipster pulled out his sketchpad, turned to a crisp, blank white page and began sketching the girl sitting across from us. She had no idea, as she was bopping along to her music. He drew and drew and drew. HER. It looked exactly like her. Her hairÂ wispsÂ in her face, her giant earphones, her chucks, her smile.
And then when he got up at North York Centre station he ripped off the top page and handed her the drawing.
My heart practically leapt out of my body.
It restored my faith in the public transit system.
At least for another day.
At least until the naked homeless man in the brand-new nikes comes flopping down the subway car.