I wake up late.

Change into an all black outfit, slap sunscreen on my face and wrap an emerald scarf around my neck.

My first bus is late– but it’s always late and I’ve made it a habit of catching the one at 7:44am knowing it will arrive at 7:57am. I run out my house in flat shoes despite the weather, still calling itself Winter and not Spring, though I never dress for the weather– I dress for my commute, which typically has me running up stairs and for trains.

When you’re a commuter every journey is about strategy: can you save time by taking the Line 1 train, run down 2 flights of stairs and then transfer to Line 2? Or will the bus that is perpetually late take you to Line 2 quicker?

Today, I take the latter option. As I’m speeding down stairs, I’m halted by an old man eating a chocolate danish and a man with a small child in yellow rain boots. Morality considered, who should I push down the stairs and out of my way first?

Surely the old man is retired and now enjoying his leisure, and this small child is on his way to school. They’d both make national newspaper headlines if I push one of them out of my way, so perhaps the child’s father is a better option?

And breakfast.

I chug a glass of almond milk before I leave the house. I’m late but also practicing a new Japanese ritual of drinking large quantities of water in the morning. I mix my water with almond milk to curb my hunger pangs. Yes, I one of those who eat breakfast in the morning– because I never maintained a pattern of lateness consistently enough to miss breakfast.

My lateness is the type that has me panicked and anxious when I break my sleep/coma enough to realize the time. Nothing wakes you up quicker than cold water and the shock of your integrity slipping away from you. Strategy tells me to skip finding food on the subway, so instead I run towards my next bus.

Nothing compares to that feeling of sweet victory when you make the right choice, run up two flights of stairs, and catch your next bus just before it leaves. I run then strut to my seat like Naiomi Campbell for the DSquared opening in 2004.

I arrive to work 7 minutes early–so I buy myself a chocolate danish, take a seat in my office and settle my heart rate before clocking in.

for In Transit, by leaf jerlefia

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