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End of the Dream Line

For a while, I did quite well, processing the conversations of the evening, but once we crossed the river, I started to feel myself dancing to ghost tunes, falling in and out of second long junkie cat naps

Story by Teo J. Babini - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Illustration ©Luigi Scarcella

I had an after-work meeting for a project in Prospect Heights on a weeknight. The trip out there is about forty-five minutes, which is a little annoying, but by no means unmanageable. I figured as long as I get back on the train by 1:00 AM I’d be back with enough time to get a healthy seven hours of sleep for work the next day.

After the meeting we skipped around for a couple adult beverages. We went to the usual spots; Franklin Park followed by two for ones at Minor Arcana. These post-meeting drinks have tendency to last into the wee small hours, leaving me completely wrecked the next day at work, so I promised myself I’d be reasonable with the beer count and stick to my one o’ clock escape plan.

Reluctantly, I bid my cronies farewell and made my way to the Franklin Ave. stop to hop on the 4 5. Of course it was late night, so service was completely fucked and I waited a good while on the platform listening to some Irish folk tunes in the headphones. The ol’ iron horse finally tucked into the station and I turned the volume up to keep me on my toes. See, I’m one of those people who’s like a small child, easily lulled to the dream world by the vibes of moving vehicles. Probably a result of a childhood spent in planes and on the road. I stood for a while to keep the blood flowing, but was all to easily lured to rare pleasure of empty seats. For a while, I did quite well, processing the conversations of the evening, but once we crossed the river, I started to feel myself dancing to ghost tunes, falling in and out of second long junkie cat naps.

The last thing I remember was focusing as hard as I could on the map and feeling relieved that my stop was next. Next thing I knew, I was enjoying the early morning sunrise in The Bronx. Every time this happens to me I wake up at the end of the line, usually only because of the cold air coming in through the open doors. One time, I woke up next to pile of change which had been left for me by the morning commuters. By the time I got back downtown, I basically jumped off the train and went straight to work. It was a rough day to say the least, but I learned a long time ago the value of keeping a toothbrush at the job.

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