brooklyn to manhattan (minding the gap)

July 22, 2010

I’m in New York City. Alone. It’s sort of trippy, not least because I’m moving around a lot each night. My car’s well out of the city, parked Somewhere Safe, and this is the first time in about two months that I’ve been this far from it. My van’s my home right now, and it makes me nervous not to be able to check on it constantly.

No matter. I’ve been riding the subway a lot, as one does here, and it is a peculiar kind of delight. I have, and always have had, a deep fear of the vestibules on trains; I think it’s some combination of dangerous liminal spaces and really loud noises, but I can barely breathe when the doors between cars are open. That said, that’s not the gap they warn you about on the subway; the announcer is always sweetly reminding you to keep your toes and fancy high heels out of the small gap between the train and the platform. That gap does not alarm me, because I know what’s down there: train tracks, cigarette butts, and a lot of gum. But the open vestibule does alarm me, because that gap still exists while we’re hurtling under the city at deafening speed, and because there is no guarantee of what exactly exists in that space.

My Gap Anxiety is a constant motif of this grand roadtrip of mine, but I have a hard time explaining it while sober. To save everyone a lot of angst, and myself a lot of liver damage, I’ve drawn a picture for y’all:

I am highly-trained in design and presentation. You can tell from my skillful use of Microsoft Paint.


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