The View from the 5:35

Mark | Corporate Accountant | 40

Monday. My therapist said I should decompress on my commute home and “journal”. Not sure if I’m doing this right, but here goes. The 5:35 train in “lovely” Krawen Nepp Station rolled up to the platform around 5:25. I knew this because it was humid as hell, and I looked at my watch as I was sweating through my suit. After a long day crunching numbers I really didn’t want to stand around waiting and sweating. This is probably one of the things that Dr. Hunter would classify as “small stuff” that I should probably just get over.

Anyway, I got on the double decker train and went upstairs to grab a single seater in the back (front?) of the car. I usually sit in the quiet car and listen to music or podcasts on my way home but now I’m adding this whole journaling exercise. When the doc told me to write about the things around me to decompress from work, I immediately thought of “Joe.” Not sure what his real name is, since I’ve never spoken to him, but there’s a guy I see almost every day, who looks like he could be a boy scout leader. He always wears a baseball cap with a backpack and looks like he could be out of a magazine.

I saw Joe get on the train but he was a few cars ahead of me, backpack and baseball hat intact. There were a bunch of people I saw regularly, and there are some interesting characters, for sure. There’s a woman who always talks on her phone, loudly, in the area between cars. She’s usually yelling at her husband or her kids and sometimes listening to her makes me happy to be single. Today this woman is asking one of her kids where his laptop is – apparently he left it at school. #FirstWorldProblems.

The conductor just came by to check my (digital) ticket. I always pull it up as soon as I get on the train out of paranoia – you never know when the conductors will come by to check. This is also something I’m working on with the doc. If the person checking tickets has to wait a few seconds for my phone to pull up the ticket, such is life. I just really hate confrontation and/or holding things up. #WorkingOnIt (#WOI – I like it, still coming up with some ‘journaling’ lingo). That’s gotta be a thankless job – working hard to check everyone’s paying their way and then having to fight with people on wrong trains or kids trying to get free rides. I always try to smile and be pleasant to the train workers.

Slotsberg, Garfield, Haddonfield… my stop on this express train is number 6: Longfellow. There’s always a mass exodus around Easthaven, probably because it has a great parking lot. Longfellow’s parking lot is not great, but I deal with it (#smallstuff). Pavonia, Brookdale. We’re pulling into the Longfellow station, and I’m hanging up the keyboard for now. This certainly made the commute a little faster and I’m definitely not stressed. Maybe that degree from that Ivy league school the doc has is good for something…

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