24.Aug.2009 A peculiar morning.

Normally, I try not to bore you all with the inconsequential comings and goings of my day. This is a blog after all, not a diary! However, this morning was so bizarre (and accounts for me not being able to post my daily doodle cartoon All Day Pizza Buffet, so…) I feel like I have to relate its events.

The oddness began around 7:30 a.m. when I left my apartment for work. I normally catch a 7:59 a.m. train to New York City. I open the door and see a spider dangling on a web right in the middle of the door way. As someone with functional arachnophobia, I shudder, sweep it out of the way and move on—I have a train to catch! A soothsayer may have foreseen this spider as a bad omen. I paid it no mind.

I normally make the mile-long walk to the train accompanied by my iPod. I occasionally pass other walkers, but not many and never has a single one of them made more than a nod and a smile toward me. This morning, a young man stopped me and asked if I had change for a fiver. This was a tad shocking, as I’m on my walk to the train and in a somewhat meditative state. I don’t have any singles and kindly say as much, though the simple fact he talked to me during this previously non-conversational part of my day makes me wonder if I was correct, so much so that I check my wallet towards the walk’s end. I had only twenties. This second strange occurrence really begins the deluge of the weirdness.

A short distance later, after walking by the local grocery store, a woman with a shopping cart on the sidewalk waves me down. I pull out my earbuds, semi-shocked that no one has waved we down in months of making this commute and now it’s happened twice in a fraction of a mile. The woman stops, asks my name and insists on shaking my hand. She seems slightly deranged. I wonder if she is mentally ill. Her hand is moist. All she wanted was a handshake, which she executed with her left hand. I move on, puzzled and smiling.

Another short distance later, a man waiting for a bus seems to be looking at me. I’ve been wondering about the moist hand and my imagination is getting the better of me as I worry if it was laced with anthrax or something equally outlandish. As this sidewalk-stander continues to look at me, I begin to wonder if he’s going to stop me and ask me something. I begin wondering if I am the mark in some elaborate commuter prank. He says nothing, but following his eyes leads me to see there is a helicopter hovering over my small New Jersey town. I then wonder if the woman was an escaped convict and shook my hand so from a helicopter it would look like she was my neighbor. This is followed by wondering whether the helicopter is filming my weird morning, or possibly, whether the helicopter houses a sniper aiming to take me out.

Yes, the peculiar events of the morning have fueled my already strange thoughts and imagination with a boost of bizarre. It was early, what can I say?

Nearing the end of my walk, I’m fairly certain the helicopter isn’t there for me. As the train stop comes into view, I notice a large amount of people heading away from the station. At a few minutes to 8 a.m., this is too large a crowd heading away from the train I normally only see people heading towards to be normal. I notice a guy around my age who rides the same train as me everyday on the other side of the street. He is walking away from the train. I begin to realize that the helicopter must be filming some sort of problem that is keeping the train from running.

Reserving myself to the fate of heading all the way to the train stop and finding out what’s going on myself, my fellow commuter whom I’ve recognized waves me down. I cross the street and he explains there’s been a fatality on the tracks and the line is down. “Thus the helicopter,” I say before thanking him for waving me down and explaining the situation. I begin walking home, shocked that my view of commuters as a group of independent people who recognize each other by daily reinforced visual contact yet share no other formal or social interaction has been broken.

I walk home. Enter my apartment. See the same spider in the corner of the ceiling by the door. I wad it up in a kleenex and flush it down the toilet. It’s 8:20 a.m.

So, yeah, weird morning. I just ordered my very own scanner and won’t have to rely on one at work soon, but for today, I must apologize for the lack of a new doodle cartoon. I did post an extra edition of All Day Pizza Buffet on Saturday, so please enjoy that for now!

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