The after work, evening commute in New York City is even more drab and dreary than the morning one and going it alone can quickly turn into a frustrating, elbow-rubbing, unpleasant smelling, anxiety-inducing experience; one where vying for a place to rest ones ass can go from an awkward “after you,” “no, after you” to the shorter equivalent of a 100 yard dash competition. And then of course, one might weigh the pros and cons of the empty seat – Is it a middle seat or a side seat? Is it by the exit or in the middle of the train, furthest from mass transportation freedom as possible?
On one hand, you can rest your tush whilst having the sleepiest stranger to your right dozing off on your shoulder or the asshole to your left practicing his latest spreading techniques (in case you do not know what this is, feel free to click on the link above) and on the other hand, you can stand but you better move the hell out of the way approximately thirty seconds before each stop because the elderly woman sitting in front of you just has to inch her way to the exit doors in order to be first off the train.
What has the ability to brighten this five-day commute and ease the disadvantages of riding the New York City subway between the hours of five and eight p.m. is having a riding buddy. I was fortunate enough to have that during my time on the east coast. This woman was not only a riding buddy but a Brooklyn bred, Italiana firecracker with a mouth of a sailor and a heart of gold. Her name is Ali. We worked together at a fashion jewelry company on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s midtown district and we both happened to take the same subway line back to Brooklyn.
I’m uncertain of whether or not Ali knows just how much her presence and friendship meant to me and still does today but the purpose of this blog is to not only express that appreciation but to ask you, my readers, for your help this holiday season. Ali has been battling a rare form of stage three ovarian cancer for three years and is presently in the hospital fighting pneumonia with other severe health complications brought on by this horrific disease. Doctors are currently at a loss as far as further treatment.
I’ll never forget the night this despairing news came to fruition, when my fun-loving, exceptionally strong, spirited and young friend was diagnosed just months after my best friend, my mama, passed away from stage four metastatic lung cancer. Ali and I immediately formed a common bond if we hadn’t already had several and despite her own, personal struggles, she continued to be an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on but more importantly someone who “got it,” and on those seemingly long ass commutes home, her presence was life saving. Her sense of humor never ceased to exist and her contagious laugh, everlasting.
I couldn’t possibly place my gratitude into the proper words; I can only hope that I provided Ali with some amount of solace in return. I will do my best to help her and her family in any way that I possibly can and right now, that means reaching their goal of $20,000 via the link http://www.gofundme.com/letusrallyforali
Please take a brief moment to click on the link and read her heartbreaking story. Every little bit truly helps and this is one story that deserves a happy ending. Ali recently wrote via her Facebook that she is “overwhelmed by all the love and support from everyone,” that it truly astonished her. To that I respond, and I know so many will agree, I am not surprised one bit by the outpouring of support. If she remotely touched others’ lives in the way that she managed to touch mine, it is not surprising in the least bit.
Seahorses forever! Love you, buddy. #FUCKCANCER