STANDBY TO DEPART CAUSAL LOOP

23AUG2010, 1730 – Riding home on the Brooklyn-bound “L”, midway between Lorimer and Graham, I experienced a sudden and overwhelming sense of deja vu.

The car was slowing down, and I moved toward the door.  Looking down to my left, I saw an olive-skinned girl in a black polo shirt, unbuttoned. Black hair pulled back in an end-of-the-day ponytail. Blue jeans, battered Chucks. Eating pretzels from a brown bag. Me, I’m listening to Lamb’s “Lusty”:

When the echoing sound from 1:58 began to chime, everything hit me at once. I had been here before!

When I move to a new place, it is understood that a significant amount of time has to pass before I start to get the feeling that everything prior to that moment was just a dream, and that I’d always been there. Getting it this early isn’t a good sign; it implies burnout. I’ve been in NYC since June 3.

As soon as the car stopped and the doors opened, I did something I’d never done before; I stepped out of the car and walked to the left, knowing full well and good that the exit was to the right. Then I halted, right-faced and without thinking, I walked over and touched the wall. Turned back around and walked toward the exit but stopped short again, sat down on a bench, pulled out my notebook and began to scribble furiously: STAND BY TO BREAK CAUSAL LOOP. Stupid Uni-Ball let me down, threw it at the tracks, dug out a felt-tip, kept going, waiting for something…

Looked up. Checked my watch. Nothing happened. The ragged tunnels were as unapologetic as ever: no back-masked dwarves, no parquet floors, no red curtains. No offers of coffee:

Instead, I was alone on the platform. Just me and my dementia.

I stuffed my notebook back into my bag and capped my pen. The next mechaWorm had arrived, and I joined a fresh wave of tired bipeds as they shuffled toward the turnstile. We climbed the steps to the street. We waited for the light. We crossed Metropolitan, but I headed home alone.

I keep trying.

TWM

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4 thoughts on “STANDBY TO DEPART CAUSAL LOOP

  1. YAY!A new post!
    I’ve been enjoying your archives (delicious stuff!) while waiting to find out how NY is treating you.
    Since your dementia is still intact, I’m guessing you’re just fine 🙂
    Your writing really pulls a person in… I’ve actually worried about you being in that big city! Weird!
    Oh and thanks to your Twin Peaks reference I’m now going to need donuts… and pie! HA!

    1. I’m doing fine! Busy, constantly in motion, flooded with information. Man, I can’t wait for daylight savings time… Thanks for reading, and check back soon. 🙂

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