November 26, 2002

Labor Day

By Tenzin McGrupp

2 Sept 2002

It's Labor Day so the empty subway cars would have indicated to me early this morning, when on a Monday unlike any Monday, but today Labor Day, is a wet, cold, and rainy day which welcomed me to an empty subway car and a seat on the A-Train. Of course I am the only one I know going to work at the early hour, aside from the subway conductor, who is already on the job, in fact I sat and pondered writing this blog in his office, as it screeched and crawled its way down to the tip of Manhattan Island. Alas, I arrived to work not as rushed as you would expect on a wet Monday morning. The humid and testy temperatures of early August have retreated and been replaced with sporadic wet and damp weather, a splash of the Pacific Northwest, with East Coast attitude, and a tinge on the cold side with a nice cold spell that this overheated and rundown city welcomed gleefully with open arms. My arrival at work was more relaxed than normal, even my attire was less than the usual suit and tie. It felt like a weekend morning at the firm, the lights were all out, only a few computers were up and running, the trading floor did not smell like the typical morning office, with the pungent aroma of gourmet coffee and the scrumcious smells of fresh baked pastries and the occasional wafting of anticipatory greed. Not this morning. The office was empty, because nearly all the French staff were returning from Europe from their summer end two week holiday, and the locals were at home, or elsewhere relaxing for the Labor Day holiday. But I get stuck working these days, but I enjoy the empty trading floor, me alone in my trench, secluded from the next trench by rows of electronic screens, equipment, and data processing information bombarding all my external senses. I sit down check my messages, read my e-mail, and read all the recent news updates from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, then South America. Same shit really. War looms in Kashmir. Famine in Angola. Rebellion in Sierra Leone. Poverty in all of Central Africa. Economic Crisis in South America. Death in the Gaza Strip. Genocide in East Timor. Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Terrorism in Sweden. And Posh Spice had a baby. Same old shit, eh? I'll enjoy this peaceful day while it lasts.

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

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