Thursday, February 5, 2009


i haven't heard too many new yorkers talk about this.  as i said in the last post, solitude is difficult to come by with some 70,000 people per square mile.  what a treat, then, to get several interesting minutes of solitude in the most unlikely of places.  

i was heading to a late rehearsal for my play, "land of the babydolls"...that's right, i'm in a play.  it goes in a couple weeks and if you're anywhere near the city, you should come.  it's my theater debut and it's happening in midtown manhattan.  hard to believe...but true.  so i was heading to this rehearsal which means i get on the "c" train up at 96th street and ride down to 34th.  now, 34th street has exits at 34th, of course, but it also has an exit at 35th street.  these trains are a couple blocks long so the cool stations have multiple exits.  uncool stations only have one exit in the middle which means if you're in the front or back of the train, you have to schlep it to the exit.  

our rehearsal space is in a building on 36th street.  since it's so cold, staying under ground as long as possible is a good idea.  and since the 34th street station on the "a" and "c" line is a cool station with the exit at 35th st, this means only having to walk one block above ground.  i know i sound like a wuss, but you'd do the same thing.  

the point of all that is to say that when i went down to catch the downtown train at 96th street, i knew that i should wait at the far uptown end of the platform so i could ride the back car which would let me out right at the 35th street exit of the 34th street station.  make sense?  as i looked up the track i could see the two approaching headlights illuminating the rails like two ever present lightning bolts.  always a welcome sight.  

as a train enters a station, it's common to look in the windows and see how crowded things look.  at 8:30 pm it wasn't too bad.  there would be plenty of available seats.  as the train slowed and the last few cars came alongside the platform, i was seeing fewer and fewer people.  the second to last car had one person in it.  the doors to the last car opened and i stepped inside...not a soul.  this was a first.  i took a moment to check for sleeping friends but one!  i had the entire subway car to myself.  how fun!  

what else could i do but sing at the top of my lungs?!  this was now a stage with props from floor to ceiling.  i pretended the poles that people use to steady themselves were young aspen trees and walked through them, swinging around them like julie andrews at the beginning of "the sound of music."  the great thing was that the car remained mine for three stops.  the singing continued...

sadly, no one witnessed my performance.  i'm sure it was agent-worthy.  this is what i do with solitude.  wouldn't you?  


Jeremiah said...


That is brilliant! Congrats on the play! Perhaps I shall make a trip that direction? No promises. Sounds like a lovely moment of serenity. Way to embrace it!

Kim Wentzel said...

That sounds like something out of a 'Singin' in the Rain', only it's 'Singin in the Subway'! Congrats on the play. Hope it all goes well!!