Crosstown Traffic

In New York, subway and crosstown are verbs, too. They are time consuming unavoidable necessities, like eating and sleeping.

I crosstown bus and stare out the window as the bus turns and pushes west. Something about the slow journey brings out the crankiness in adults and the wile of children who seem to go out of the way to jump and sing so early in the morning. The traffic is ambivalent. It doesn’t give a shit about you. Pedestrians idle as they cross down the avenues, cabs edging into their right turns, their blinkers setting off hurried animosity. There is that one person who walks against the path of the bus and magically passes outside my window at every stop. I expect—maybe want—them to stop and wink. But they obey the laws of city traffic, totally oblivious. Everyone and everything is, whether it knows it or not.


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