And no, I'm not talking about our former -- God I love saying that -- FORMER president.
A few years ago I threw out my old computer. I had bought it during my freshman year of college and it served me well during my collegiate experience and through my first years of "the real world." But after eight years of loyal service, it had become a clunky, unreliable dinosaur and it had to go. So I coughed up the dough, bought a new one, and sent my old computer to the electronic morgue.
And it made me sad! I nearly came to tears the night I took the old computer apart and tossed it. This computer had served me loyally for nearly a decade and, even though it was a totally inanimate object, it had outlasted college, relationships, and more than a few jobs before we parted ways. So the night it left my life forever, I felt a pang of loss.
Well, I had yet another such pang this weekend. As of last Friday night, one of my subway lines, the W, is no more. Thanks to the economic downturn and subsequent budget cuts, it has been phased out and replaced by the Q. While the loss of this line hasn't quite brought me to tears, I do feel sad. The W really was the Astoria line, a special subway line for a special neighborhood, and its loss is a sad, small change to an otherwise wonderful, dynamic neighborhood. This line existed when I first moved here, when I got married last year, when I began a great new chapter of my life.
And now its gone.
However, unlike my old computer, this time I don't have to grieve alone. Many other Astorians have been mourning the W, holding vigils and mourning together. The W may be gone but it's not forgotten. Yes, the powers that be can take away our subway line, make our commuting lives more difficult, but they can't take away our spirit.