There is the soft humming of string music through the speakers. There is a boy whining to his mother a few feet away about some stickers in a book. A middle aged man reads his morning paper while lying in wait for his evening commute. A college boy in stoic pose buries himself in his book as his varsity bag laden with baseball stuff and a bat lays in a pile at his feet. A clear female voice authoritatively announces the final call for trains leaving for the DC corridor. Some commuters scuttle out as others arrive to take their spaces in this disjointed assemblyline of slumped shoulders moving slowly.

It is a Friday night and there is a week-long weariness attached to the faces and bodies of these people waiting for their trains. Everyone yearns to already be some place else and yet are doomed to suffer that inevitable in every destination, travel. This basic frustration coupled with every other one — this is NY, after all, the capital of neurotic anxiety — around the difficulties of daily routine set in an ultraurban competitive environment adds up to a scene of such sheer human pathos. There seems to be a collective sigh after every anxious thought. There is a sad unity in the passionless consumption of periodicals and a hollow harmony in the many yawns. Everyone is armed with impatience and yet have aleady hopelessly lost to the quiet power of time’s passage.

This is why I like traveling. It reaffirms for me one of life’s many paradoxes. Knowing what one wants is inextricably linked to not always getting it at the time he or she wants it. Everything is in process in as much as everyone who seeks that thing is integral in its unfolding.

I am waiting for my train to board then leave for DC where I will be spending this long weekend.

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