Fellow travelers 

Day 7 –

Every day I observe the vastness of Cambridge and Boston. The volume of stairs at Porter Square, the diversity of race, age, profession and status on the subway and outside of the underground, the homeless landscape. Each one of these humbled me today.

My train commute included reading and not quite finishing my breakfast. As I left the subway, I felt the uneaten protein bar in my coat pocket. I pulled it out, turned the corner toward work and acknowledged a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. He had “anything you can do” written on a trash can lid. I gave my wrapped food to him and we told each other to have a good day. 

After work, I headed back to Porter Square and another person stole my heart. I was reading the subway map, knowing I’d unconsciously memorize it over time, and noticed the elderly man across from me. He was was blind. He too had to navigate this system but with his other senses. Well, hopefully not taste. I notice the distinctive smells in the city but sound and touch must be critical to this man’s day.

The thought made me appreciate my own physical abilities and the underground infrastructure. So much so that I decided to take the stairs to the commuter rail.

<<I’m not a fan of the escalators because as they move (I don’t twitch a muscle because it seems I’ll lose my balance the higher they climb) I grow a white-knuckled death grip.  The top of any escalator is like the ledge of a mountain to me. I typically run off and don’t look back.>>

It was a quick decision to take the stairs.  I stepped out of the mob that was herding me from behind toward the escalator. I started my stair climb with pride – which is not necessarily a good characteristic. After the first flight (I think there were 8),  I started to count. My lungs told me it was approximately 120 stairs but I was light-headed by the time I ran from the top landing. I thought I’d made it but still had to climb to the train platform. More stairs. I counted every son-of-a-bitch additional one. There were 30.

It’s not rocket science or Braille but 30 plus 120 is 150. I  didn’t  have any more stamina to join a gym or get worked up over dinner. I did, however, still have the energy and appetite for words.

Who is part of your grand new tomorrow?

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