You Wake up Every Morning, Go to School Every Day / Fresh Muffins
These streets remind me of other bad and unusual times. All the people, with the crazed looks in their eyes, rushing to get somewhere else. At least we are not covered in gray dust. At least it's not approaching 100 degrees. Instead, it is freezing. We're covered in cold and covered in frustration.
Because PATH trains to and from New Jersey are still running, my commute was only moderately influenced. At Grove Street, where I catch the train in the morning, it usually goes: WTC, 33rd ST, WTC, 33rd ST, and so on. Today, it went: WTC, WTC, 33rd ST, 33rd ST, and so on. I don't know why.
I ride the 33rd ST train. Two WTCs went by before my train arrived, but it was too crowded to squeeze onto. Others might have tried, but I prefer to wait. The next one was much better. I had my own little spot in the corner, up against a wall, where an old man would occasionally cough on me.
Due to congestion at 33rd Street, our train was delayed several times along the way. When we finally arrived, we were not allowed to exit out of the 33rd Street side. Instead, we were turned around, and forced to exit out onto 30th Street. I don't know why.
At the corner of 39th and Madison, I was happy to find that my coffee truck guy had made it into the City.
"Hello, my friend! You made it," he greets me.
"Yes, I came in from Jersey, so it was no problem. How did you get here?"
"Oh, I arrive at four in the morning, easy, but, today, no one was here. Ghost town."
Upstairs, in the office, our publisher, Dave Colford, arrives with a big, smiling bag from Dunkin' Donuts.
"Penn Station is a mess," he explains.
"I spent twenty minutes just trying to get out. Once we made it to the stairs to exit, we were all just stopped."
From far away, a dense crowd of people, attempting to exit a station, might seem orderly, even peaceful. From within, however, such a crowd is a tiring mess of sharp little bumps and shoves, stepped-on shoes and kicked shins, grunts and heavy sighs, frustration and anger.
"So, then I went to Dunkin' Donuts. I wanted to bring doughnuts in for everyone, but I got there, and they were all out! Delivery trucks weren't allowed into the City."
"Oh, no! No doughnuts?!"
[I'm serious here, folks. I'm not being sarcastic. My pain at the news of no doughnuts was genuine.]
"But, then," Dave continues, "I found a Dunkin' Donuts where they had their own ovens. Still no doughnuts, but they had muffins! So, I bought four boxes. The guy said they're fresh. Let's test them."
The guy wasn't lying.