Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Learning the layout of the city (or at least, more so), being able to visualize yourself on a map, you are the dot on the computer screen, Pac Man or some similar thing, moving down this or that road, munching things. And knowing where I am going, just getting on the train and getting there is a lovely mindless activity. When I first moved here, every trip I made, every time I left the house was an exercise in exhaustion, trying to figure out which trains to take, which side of the tracks to be on, how to get places once I got off at the right stop. All of my mental energies were consumed just by the task of getting from Point A to Point B, but now, I don't have to think about it when I ride the trains to work or home from work, or walk from Union Square down to Astor Place. I am, save for the occasional orienteering snafu, on auto pilot, and thus my mental energies are freed to focus on other things, to notice my surroundings, to feel comfortable in this place, that buildings and people are nice friendly scenerey along my trip, they are not the mean apple trees that peg apples at you on the Yellow Brick road. I noticed so many things on the subway today, signs that pissed me off, but most importantly, I noticed a child, a youth, doing origami, following with all her mental energies the instructions in a book, the look on my face when I first got here and looked at subway maps, trying to make my journey fold right, into a swan or whatever, to get where I was trying to get, and today, this afternoon, I was allowed to spend mental energy in other ways, spend consuming this sight, being nothing but thankful.

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