Wait Here to Board

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Kids these days will never remember when you had to figure out the hard way where to stand to board the G 

Much like the G stops at weird locations on the platform, has service changes causing detours and delays, never makes it’s way into the “big city” of Manhattan, and has never reached it’s goal weight of eight cars, this blog has had it’s share of stops and goes. But also like the G, this is the little blog that could. So many months, many credit card debts, and many trips overseas and off the G later, THE BLOG IS BACK, BABY.

Why now, you ask? Well, faithful reader, you can thank a stranger who recently sat near me on the G train. She was riding with her two young sons and I was only going three stops. As always, I secretly tasked my fellow straphangers with leaving me with a lasting impression. “I’ve only got three stops, so y’all better make it quick or else I will get off this train and never think of you again,” I think to myself. In most cases, the impressions left by other riders are not the best. I’m not fond of the “It’s showtime!” guys. I’m also not really a fan of the guy I got into a full on elbow war with. Or the guy who yelled at my sister and I for looking at pictures on my camera that I had taken that day. My sister shortly moved out of the city after that incident. New York City subway riders are not always the most forgiving and can be a constant reminder of everything that we all hate about this city. But this ride was different.

At every stop, the boys would scream out, desperately searching their mother for a negative response. “Are we getting off here??!!” “No, not yet.” And then a loud guttural shriek of glee as her sons would yell, “Yay! We get to stay on the G!” We would pull into another stop and the same exchange, with one addendum: “Hey! There’s another train over there! What train is it?!” “It’s another G going the other way.” “ANOTHER G TRAIN! YAY!” As we pulled into the Broadway stop their mother said, “This is the first stop I ever lived at when I moved to New York. And then your father and I moved a couple stops away to Classon Ave. And now we live by Carroll.” “YAY!” Much like the first 10 minutes of Up, I had a crash course glimpse into this family’s life as seen through where they had lived along the G. And this story didn’t end with zero children and a dead wife! I got off at the next stop, a pure, unadulterated love for the G train washing over me. That family had done what so few had done on the subway; made it an enjoyable commute. “I shall immortalize you one day on a rarely updated and even more rarely read blog about things that are found above ground,” I yelled to them as I got lost in the sea of people getting off at Metropolitan Ave. “What are you saying? I can’t hear you! Are you threatening my family?” the mother screamed back. “Stand clear of the closing doors,” the conductor muttered out in a barely audible slur of words. The doors closed and I watched them zoom past me through the subway car window while I stood stationary on the platform, getting jostled from side to side by people trying to get their lives on the surface. Some of that happened and some of it didn’t but I never reveal what’s fact and fiction because it keeps the tension at a maximum.

Fast forward to today, a month later from this fateful G subway ride. I’ve listened to too many podcasts about the upcoming election and I’m just getting really worn down and upset and worried. I get out of work earlier than expected. Work is conveniently located on the G, just like my apartment. I put in my headphones as I walk down the stairs to the subway. But as I listen to Trump’s entitled voice echoing through my ears, I look at the time left on the episode I just started. 53 minutes. I see that back-lit green G, a beacon of hope coming down the track. I know I have 20 minutes until I get home, if I walk slowly. I quickly switch to my music because fuck Trump and I also am not gonna finish the episode anyway. Listening to happy people singing about being happy and in love sheds a different light on the night time commute home after work as opposed to sad people talking about sad things. I got off the train at my stop just as “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis (a highly underrated song) came on. I put the song on repeat for my walk to my apartment and as soon as I’m inside the door of my apartment I start pumping my fists in the air at the semi-triumphant part of the song (around the 2:38 mark, for those looking to reenact in their own abode). It’s more of a ballad than an anthem, so the triumphant part is a little understated, but under the right circumstances it does the trick. After an appropriate amount of time spent dancing it out, I sat down and opened my computer, and here we are. The blog is back.

But where did it go? Well, it’s more like, where did I go. I went to a couple different countries, went to see Beyonce, went to a couple different coasts, officiated a wedding, and every once in awhile someone would bring up Off the G. “It’ll be back,” I always promised, knowing I’ve had a couple of failed blogs in my rear view mirror. I hoped this one wouldn’t end up in the same graveyard. As I had explained in an email to an owner of one of the businesses I had previously written about, I love personal storytelling, traveling, humor, and the weird little community that is the G train. This blog is not supposed to be any one of those things, but some hybrid weird marriage of all of them. And now that I’ve officiated a wedding, I’m more qualified than ever to stand at the helm of this (hopefully not sinking) ship. Or train. This is a subway blog so I should keep my metaphors somewhat train related. I’m more qualified than ever to mumble nonsense that no one can understand while I conduct this train. And in the spirit of fully embracing my past, I’ll be using one of my former blogs as a theme for my first real blog post back, dropping later this week. Will it be the blog I started with my college friend where we wrote about the poops we recently had? You’ll have to read it to find out (It’s not. That’s a very niche audience that I don’t really want to attract here).

So, just to reiterate, I’m back. And this time I’m not going anywhere. I’ll just keep writing about the G, shouting into the abyss of the internet, hoping something happens with this, but also being okay with it if it doesn’t. Because I love the G, always forever, and I will always-

Keep r-i-d-i-n

-Off the G