I chug green smoothies on my drive to the train station.
I’m never up early enough to drink it before flying out the door, my arms overflowing with keys, phone, wallet, lunch, kombucha, a scarf and coat, umbrella … and also something absurdly random that is (of course) desperately necessary.
This morning, as I flew down Romansville toward the Thorndale train station, the fog coming in great puffs across the blackened road, I laughed at how much I concentrate on finishing my smoothie. It’s a morning challenge for the ages. In general, making the train is a morning challenge for the ages. But I seem to do it, most mornings, against all odds. I call that adulting.
Yesterday I slunk down to my bicycle (sitting innocently enough in our garage). I eyed it up. For what seems like forever, the fatigue has been overwhelming (it’s meds week) and my brain has been fuzzy, too full and unfocused. I didn’t want to exercise. I wanted to stay in pajamas, watching endless episodes of “Gilmore Girls.” (I’ve just begun watching them, and routinely wonder why I never watched them before … I am in love).
I knew I would feel better. But I was feeling agitated. Fussy and unmotivated. I didn’t want to listen to “Kitchen Confidential” (my current audible.com book). I began it because my husband loves it, and while it is highly enjoyable, I deal with restaurants daily at work and don’t always want to spend time in them for fun. Especially the seedy underbelly that any lifer is intimately familiar with.
I’ve listened to “Hamilton” nearly exclusively since April. And it’s great to work out to. But I wanted a story, something to distract me from the blinking lights and the display slowly accumulating minutes and miles. Usually, “Hamilton” is great for that. It’s a story. But it’s a story I’ve heard so many times recently, that I know it inside and out. I zone out now when the inclines get tough. I’m no longer distracted.
I love musical theatre — any musical theatre really — because it’s a story set to music.
When I first began listening to ‘Hamilton’ at work, a woman in my office was shocked and surprised I hadn’t seen it. She laughed, said she got into musical theatre after seeing the show — but she couldn’t listen to the music before that. It had no context.
I’m not like that. My most favorite musicals — the West End version of “Chess” and “Hamilton” — are both musicals I have never seen. But I don’t need to. I can get lost in the story, in the music, without ever seeing an actress or actor perform a single song. The art of musical theatre — sustaining a narrative through song — it’s beautiful and difficult to get right. (I’ve seen some bad musical theatre).
I rode my bicycle to “Hamilton.” It wasn’t a bad ride. I did feel better afterwards. And I got lost in the story all over again.
Septa is on strike.
Which means that after the Herculean effort that they put forward to get back to our regular schedule following the July pulling of the Silverliner cars — we’re right back where we were before. And it’s even worse during rush hour at night. Total chaos.
The 6.50am Great Valley Flier is a local train this morning. Making every stop on the way to the city. It’s supposed to be a “Flier”. It’s not. Running about 10 minutes late, and counting.
It means that tomorrow, I will have to drive to University City for my medicine, or I won’t get there in time.
I need the trains to be on time, and on schedule again. Please. Someone. Somewhere. This is excruciating.