Of Times Square: A Coffee Cup Reflection
ZERO PLUS 1208 DAYS,--New York, NY, Sunday, January
is Sunday, the day after 2005's birth. The streets are still
pathways for paper tumbleweeds, tumbling here and there from
the aftermath of millions pressing against one another to watch
a crystal lighted ball drop at midnight in Times Square.
I was traveling by subway
from the Bronx to the East Village on New Year's Eve. The train
I took from the Bronx didn't go to the East Village, so I hopped
off the 1 Train and made my way through the hoards of subway
people toward the N and R Train.
I carried an empty coffee
cup I had downed on the trip from 247th St. in the Bronx to
42nd in the heart of Manhattan. I looked for a place to dispose
Police filled the subway
station at Times Square, directing passengers so they flowed
in single lines rather than mixing and blending like a giant
football team on the ten-yard line, everyone trying to break
loose of the madding crowd to catch the pass, which in this
case would be the next downtown ... or uptown train.
There was no place to toss
my empty coffee cup. All the trash cans were taped shut, covered
with black garbage bags. I thought it a bit absurd since if
someone were going to dump a bomb or some chemical into the
trash can, there was only a thin layer of plastic covering the
trash can. An exacto knife slitting the plastic and sliding
whatever inside would be as easy as coughing.
To test my theory, I placed
my empty coffee cup behind the trash can. No alarms went off.
No police attacked me and accussed me of being a terrorist.
At my stop, on 8th Street,
there were no police, no covered trash cans. I thought about
it. Here in the heart of the East Village was a perfect unwatched
target--the New York University stop. All the cops were centered
at Times Square while the other 420 some subway stops were naked
Ah, I thought, Vigilance
isn't the sum of all efforts, it is the sum of one effort. In
this case, 42nd Street.
So, on this Sunday I am
thankful there were no attacks or events of any consequence
in the Big Apple.
I am also glad I could put
my empty coffee cup to rest in a trash can.
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