Maybe it's because I'm an artist. Maybe it's because I'm a native New Yorker. Maybe it's a combination of the two, but something about riding mass transit inspires my writing.
For as much as New York City residents complain about our busses and subways, maybe they are one reason that artists outside of the five boroughs are drawn to this city (especially if you're one of the starving variety and otherwise cannot afford to travel across the boroughs to galleries, workshops, classes, auditions and the like.) And not only because there is so much to observe. Sometimes that sense of solitude that emerges as you partake in this ostensibly communal and even democratizing experience of riding public transportation provokes certain thoughts, feelings and even revelations that demand creative expression.
And sometimes it matters where you're coming from and where you're headed to. Your origin and destination -- what actually occurred where you were or what you expect to happen where you're going -- shapes the way you interpret what you observe (both outside and within) along the way.
So for context, when I pulled out a sheet of paper and Energel pen on the Bx6 bus, I was just leaving a wellness appointment in West Harlem and headed back to the Bronx to have lunch with my parents. I was feeling pretty good. Hopeful, in fact, and let's just say it's a welcome feeling given several challenges I'm overcoming these days. Something that I always notice about myself when I grab a seat by the window on the back of a bus took on new meaning as a smiling toddler scrambled acrossed the seat next to me.
My toes graze the floor
of the bus from the back seat
like that girl just grown