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Daily Lyric: SHUNTED

Shunted over to the West Side Yards

Sidelined somewhere near Sunnyside

Stopped on the tracks outside of Secaucus

So many ways to take that train ride

Switching problems near the Rahway merge

Listing sharply round the Bergen curve

Signal malfunction where the two lines diverge

Crossing failure, watch the passing cars swerve

Hour-long delays on the North Jersey Coast Line

Indefinite suspension on the Northeast Corridor

Police department activity as they investigate a crime

And all I want to do is make the 6:34

Shunted over to the westbound tracks

Stalled in the center between Jamaica and Woodside

Standing still waiting for Acela to shoot on by

So many ways to take that train ride

Platform strike approaching Syosset

Pedestrian strike approaching Matawan

Third rail reality shock near Ronkonkoma

3 o’clock whistle near Elberon

Leave the train on the main at Monmouth Park

Make an extra stop out by the Aqueduct

All three services running nowhere close to schedule

Only on days when I’m in a rush does it get this f*ct!

Shunted over to Lynbrook extension

Stuck waiting for the bridge south of Oceanside

Raising all kinds of hell all the way to Long Beach

Dumped in a deserted terminal at the end of my ride

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Long Beach, last stop Long Beach.
Dumped in a deserted terminal at the end of my ride.

This dates back to the fall of 2008, shortly after I had moved from the Jersey Shore back to my old hometown of Long Beach, NY, in order to cut my commuting time to my job in Manhattan in half. I had begun to work for this new employer a year prior and as long as I was commuting from the Shore, it felt like I spent all my waking hours either at my job or going to and from my job. All my tribulations on the New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road systems were blurring into one massive blob, and it took a little while till I recovered from it. It all seems so quaint 15 years later, post-Covid, after three years of working at home with the blessed absence of having to commute except voluntarily. Riding the train became less of a chore and more of an adventure, the way it used to be when I was a kid or a teenager. Musically, this has an upbeat funk-rock rhythm, but no music beyond that has been written as yet.

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