We live in a cold, dark world that is somehow actually getting hotter and is going to kill us all. The wealth gap is getting wider and wider, and we’re losing a generation of kids to a fucked education system focused on elevating the talented tenth and abandoning everyone else. Gay people still can’t get married, cancer patients still can’t smoke pot, and the Knicks still haven’t hired Steve Kerr. Anyone with any perspective on anything should be depressed, and yet we mostly aren’t, and it’s because of the little things.
Earlier tonight I found myself running late for a baseball game. Yankees vs. Mets, Subway Series — a big deal. Good seats. Great seats. Meeting a friend that had left work early and would surely beat me there. With the tickets at will call, in my name. Running late because a) I stopped at the Bose store only to find that the headphones I needed have been discontinued; b) because I ended up on a work-related conference call that ran longer than expected; c) because I’m an irresponsible incompetent bastard who sat on my couch playing Fruit Ninja until the last excusable second.
If you’ve spent any portion of your life both running late and relying on the F train you can understand the shameful panic that enveloped me as I left my apartment. But then a funny thing happened:
The F train arrived at the exact moment I walked onto the platform.
And then an even funnier thing happened:
The B train I needed arrived at the exact moment we pulled into the Broadway-Lafayette train station.
And eventually an amazing thing happened:
I actually ended up at the ballpark on time.
Now, if you’re a New Yorker, you’re sitting there nodding. ‘Yes, that is fucking amazing,’ you’re thinking. But really, is it amazing? Does it even matter? Had I been forced to wait a bit for either train, the end result would have been me being let’s say ten minutes late. Who cares about ten fucking minutes? Why is the difference between arriving at the ballpark on time and ten minutes late the absolute difference between being happy and unhappy?
Because in a fucked world of chaos, it’s the little things that provide some sense of homeostasis; yin (or yang?) to the bullshit. They might not mean too much in the grand or even rudimentary scheme of things — e.g. ten minutes of a ballgame — but they make you feel like the universe is on your side. It’s clearly not on your side, or anyone’s side who has any shred of awareness or empathy, but especially in this ridiculous city, you can delude yourself into thinking everything is alright when just a few conspicuous little things are.