Saturday, September 13, 2014

Eight - oh - Eight: Author Day on Beat Street


Getting ready for work and look at the clock.


“A very romantic time,” he said.

He was a ticket taker? Information giver? Both? He worked at the Port Authority and picked up the phone when I called for information about the trains to Cold Spring, NY from Grand Central Station.

Normally, the conversations are pitch-perfect examples of bland. But because he picked up the phone, this one wasn’t.

I was living in New York, kind of newly married, and trying to find the schedule for a trip to see friends in the country. The train I asked him about left around 6:45 p.m.

“That one arrives at 8:08. A very romantic time,” he said.

Some people really know how to live, and make you feel good about living, too.

We talked for a while about this and that. He wanted to know something about me and I shared that I was trying to break into the acting business. (Which I was at the time).

“Then you won’t get all sloppy and greasy,” he said, and we laughed. We talked about a bunch of other stuff too and though I can’t remember what we said, I do remember it was fun. It took me out of the world of planes, trains, buses and grit of NYC and into something sunny and alive.

We never spoke again, but whenever I look up at the clock and it’s 8:08… I think of him. Catching the light somewhere, and making it last a little longer. Swimming against the tide of Disillusioned and Beaten Down.

Haven’t managed to make him a character yet – either in a play or fiction. Maybe he doesn’t need to be? But right now… just had to share with you. Because everyone has an 8:08 story. And if not, they should. Don’t you think?