Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Between you & me, I could honestly say that things can only get better

Landed in New York City on a grey, cloudy afternoon, under the same sky that I thought I had left behind in Detroit. One important difference between New York and Detroit; the ratio of people I don't know to people I know is much, much higher. I take a certain strange comfort in the anonymity of being in the biggest city in the country.
The shuttle ride from LGA to midtown was almost empty. There was myself, the driver and just one other passenger in a 15 seat van. The radio was on, set to a volume that would just register as a murmur in the ear. Loud enough to cover up the silence in the van but not so loud as to have any concern to what was playing. We were all doing a good job of keeping to ourselves, 3 people whose paths would probably never cross again, when Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" came on the radio. I'm not the biggest fan on Elton John, least of all his latter-day work, but there's something about that song that really resonates with me. I was on the verge of shattering everyone's little bubble and asking the driver to turn the radio up, when he reached over and did just that. He looked back slightly and we briefly made eye contact and silently exchanged a brief nod. That one instant communicated more than 20 minutes of idle chatter about the weather and where I was from / what I was doing in town could have possibly conveyed. That was a visceral connection through some maudlin piece of pop music. We both Got It and didn't need to ruin it with any words. I would like to have known the course of events in his past that led him to connect with it, but there's only so many miles between LaGuardia and Midtown. Life's more fun with some mystery anyway.

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