Steel bullet stealing down the runway of metal track. Amtrak tunnel breeze. Feeling the humidity push at my face and body. I am outdoors at Secaucus Junction. It is always changing from hell on Earth to blissfully peaceful. Always too many people on the track waiting to go to New York. Maybe for Rangers games at the Garden. Maybe to drink. Maybe for work, like me. Huge cutouts from the cement walls; Outdoor windows overlooking the Meadowlands and skyline. These are things in my environment I take for granted as I eventually sardine myself in between train cars, taking off my backpack and placing it securely between my feet, looking tough in my sunglasses and Panasonic earbuds as some strange man looks me up and down like, “Who the fuck is this?”; “Who the fuck does she think she is?” I feel his eyeballs glance and try not to look obvious. What else can I do but let it happen? I make sure I have my ticket queued up on my phone, so I can flash it to the conductor as he walks by – Minimal eye contact. I wonder how many steps he gets in a day. Sometimes he’ll yell at us to get back inside the train car, that we can’t stand out in the vestibule because it’s not safe. Sometimes he’s busy and stressed and keeps his head down. We don’t want to be on this train anymore than he does. NJTransit bullshit. We’re all here because it’s the best alternative. We just want to go into the city. We just need to get into New York. And as we leave the station, we slow to snail’s pace.

Author: Roe

she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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