Monday, August 11, 2008


You always hear about how trapped everyone feels in small or remote towns, especially the angsty high school kids (actually, I think every angsty high school kid feels trapped, whether they’re in a small town or not). It’s always complaints about how there’s nothing to do, or no way to get out to where the excitement is.

But I feel trapped in the New York metro area. There’s excitement aplenty, but I’d trade it all to be able to ride my bike out my front door without the overwhelming fear of death by automobile or without having to stop every eighth of a mile at a traffic light. I don’t even live that close to the city. I couldn’t imagine trying to run or ride in New York. Maybe that’s why all the NYC triathletes I meet seem so surly.

I don’t know if it’s claustrophobia or what. In any event, I’ve taken to going to work earlier and earlier – not so that I can necessarily get more work done (which I do) – but so I can avoid the crowds. I walk two sides of a triangle so I can avoid Times Square (the hypotenuse route would take me right through it). I love my job, but unless they develop a way for me to teleport to work and then teleport home to Alaska, I’ll probably always feel cornered.

I’ve written this while stuck in Newark airport on a Friday evening. Technically I'm not actually trapped here -- I could always walk out -- but where could I go without missing my flight? My flight’s delayed, which means I’ll miss my connection, which means it’s another night in a hotel in Dallas before an early wake up for the earliest flight to San Angelo. All because the NYC area is too crowded. Even the skies are too crowded.

Clearly, I’ve become a grumpy crank well before my time. If I had a lawn, I’d be yelling at you to stay off it.

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