Monday, June 15, 2009

The Planet Spins, and the World Goes 'Round and Around and 'Round

I had missed the G train. Worse, people were streaming up the steps as I descended into the station. For those of you who never traveled to the boroughs surrounding Manhattan, the G only runs from Court Sq, Queens to Smith-and-9th Street, Brooklyn. Living near the G means you're always at least two trains away from Manhattan. It also only run every 8 to 20 minutes, depending on the caprice of the MTA.

That morning my bad luck was soon erased by the subsequent G train that arrived a mere five minutes later.

Then I also missed the 7 train from Court Sq to Grand Central. I watched the doors close at a short distance and then it slipped away, onto the next station. Two minutes later another arrived. The ride home repeated my bad luck/good luck on the L to the G.

I have to say that missing a train by seconds cannot be healed by the balm of another train showing up soon after. It's hard to appreciate what you have when you're still mourning what you've lost.

Today I arrived at the airport to find myself eighth on the list for upgrades, despite my gold frequent-flyer status. (Seriously? Who are these eight people flying to San Francisco with more credibility?) Later I stepped out of the Balducci's made-to-order line to find the ready-made bins missing my favorite sandwich for in-flight consumption. Once I got onto the plane I was made aware by the attendant that I had somehow booked a middle seat!?! I've flown 40,000 miles in last six months. Never, ever have I intentionally booked an middle seat. The flight to San Francisco lasts six to six-and-a-half hours. The horror! The horror!

Still, it was an exit row, so my legs had room even if my torso did not. Then a miracle happened. The window, exit row seat next to me remained empty, even after the plane door closed. So now I have plenty of room length- and width-wise.

So now I'm on the plane from JFK to SFO. After a double-vodka bloody mary and a Xanax my woes are receding. Soon I will eat my only choice from the Balducci's ready-made bin - a chicken curry wrap. The remake of "Race to Witch Mountain" is playing on my in seat entertainment system. The day proceeds and the flight continues.

Life is full of these little wins and losses. Why any of them should feel personal is just a solipsistic exercise. (Isn't "solipsistic" a lovely word?)

My husband and I bought a lamp recently. The Flos Glo Ball floor lamp. It was a floor sample from Design Within Reach, where Mark works. After all discounts we paid 30% of its original price. Yesterday we rented a Zipcar to bring it home. We separated the hand blown glass diffuser (globe) from the stem and base, and packed it into the car. On the first turn the heavy base rolled from one side of the hatch to the other and shattered the diffuser. We stopped the car. I collected the glass and dropped it into the trash can across the street from store. We found a replacement online. It will cost more to replace the glass part than we paid for the lamp.

"It will take me awhile to order it," Mark told me. He needs to mourn the loss before accepting that we need to replace the glass globe or else abandon the lamp altogether.

I'm sure I could drudge up some real problems; the kind that gives one perspective on such trifles. Today, however, I will enjoy the luxury of sweating and celebrating the small stuff.

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