In the last month or so, Husband and I have been contemplating the possibility of leaving Manhattan for a midwestern university that offered us both jobs. We went out there recently to look at houses and schools, trying to imagine ourselves as people who drive everywhere and have enough closet space. It’s hard to make that leap, but tempting nevertheless, especially when you see how cheap the real estate is out there. For about a dollar you can get a five-bedroom house, in-ground pool, closets…even pantries.  Plus appliances, oh the appliances. And yards. With actual, you know, grass.

But then, as Husband says, there you are in the middle of the corn. Just you and your appliances.

So we came back from our trip and I was taking Liam to his karate practice (my son is practicing for his junior blackbelt. Be afraid, be very afraid).  We hopped on the R and there just inside the station were two guys playing most excellent steel drums. A little further on, someone else was playing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” on a saw.  And then down on the train platform, still more music: a violin and a cello, playing maybe Beethoven.

“How can I leave this,” I thought. To have this weird wild panoply of art arrayed before us–so New York, so not what happens when you’re zooming from office to school to soccer to home in your min-van.

Then the train came in and the car in front of us was completely empty–“great,” I thought, “we’ll even get seats.”

We all filed into the train and out of the corner of my eye I saw someone sprawled across an entire row of seats. The doors slid closed and that’s when it hit: the stench. A very particular, very pungent odor.

“Mommy,” said Liam, wrinkling his nose, “this car smells like a farm.”

On second thought, maybe that mini-van ain’t such a bad idea.