Yesterday I made it up to Mount Vernon West on the Metro North. Nice ride up, a bit of a mess on the return, in between I scoped out (what else?) payphones. I found more than expected. Well, put it another way. I knew there would be more than I knew, just not where, because that is how I like to plan things. By not really planning.

When it comes to Westchester I don’t know of any other towns within day-trip range that are likely to have this quantity of derelict phones still lurking. The phones I found were owned by American Payphones, Verizon, and I guess that’s all. There is plenty more to find, so I don’t know when but I’ll probably make a return trip some time soon.

It was a fine trip. My first Metro North jaunt since (probably) 2016. I still don’t know what year it is but an ex and I used to make occasional trips up the Hudson line for Restaurant Week or Month or whatever it was, and one of those jaunts occurred about a week before we ended. I never much enjoyed those trips because I am no foodie and I don’t enjoy spending over $100 on stuff that shits out the same as something a fraction of that price.

I got a little melancholy, though, remembering those trips and that person, who has essentially vanished from my radar. I see her mother once in a while but we have nothing to talk about. I’ve been through a number of dalliances in the years since but she remains my last big multi-year engagement. I had hopes that the stripper would be a lasting thing but it was just too fucked up between us. After her, but not because of her, I decided relationships are not the only goal, and that sex is not some sacred ritual.

I made a video of my trip up to Mount Vernon in which I ruminate on these things. A litany of failed romances followed by visits to the dead payphones of a dead acquaintance I briefly knew a bunch of years ago. Cheer.

I am at work now. Early, as ever. Been reflecting on how few people I get to know here. People I work with today could be gone tomorrow with no announcement or comment. I looked down at the floor I used to be on, filled with people. I recognized only a few faces. Everyone else was new to me. It’s a high churn department. I also find that in my current division people around me are frequently laughing hysterically about something, sometimes to the point of tears, and I never have any idea what they are going on about. Even when I hear the words being put together it makes no sense to me, as the cackling hysterics continue seemingly into the overtime. I just sit. No one expects me to partake of the mirth.

Walgreen’s closed forever yesterday. It was the one I’d been going to since I moved in 23+ years ago finally gave up. I felt obligated to make one last visit, one last purchase. It was a rather sickening looking Sweet Tarts concoction and a 10-foot long USB cable marked down 75%. The cable could actually be useful to me, but probably not. It connects USB A to USB C. Whoot. My immediate neighborhood really sucks. Walgreen’s is not exactly a game changing loss to the area. For as much as I went in there for anything but the pharmacy I think I bought a few cans of shaving cream in a year. It was stupid cheap but now I’ll either have to find it as cheap elsewhere or else pay 10 times the price for the same stuff on Amazon. But the area sucks because there’s just nothing there. A strip of storefronts had been mostly empty for years until the Dollar Shop finally closed. Now that strip of stores is totally empty save for a production company using the old Hour Children shop as their personal storage locker. Not a real community-driven use of that space. Why am I talking lie this? Who do I sound like? Not I.