Flying Over I-95 S. So With Hopper.

Best day of the week?  Friday. Friday afternoon. Doesn’t matter how backed up traffic is on I-95 North, Home is no more than 45 minutes away.  Nothing, I mean, Nothing will jam up this vibe. Nothing will impede the start of the Great Unwinding. The seat is reclined a wee bit. The A/C beats back the 86° F mid-August heat. Home, home in minutes.

Best day of the week?  Friday. Friday afternoon. Except when you’re on I-95, heading the wrong way, heading South to LaGuardia Airport.

A working weekend. A long week, getting longer, and blurring into the week after.

Baggage check. A line snaking through the ropes waiting to pass Security. The listless, iron backed chairs in the waiting area. The rush to board. The hopeless prayer for an empty seat next to you to stretch out.  “Drink Sir?” Weary flight attendants forcing smiles with their offers of pretzels and tasteless shortbread cookies – and then, they hawk their gourmet sandwiches tightly shrink wrapped in plastic. “No thanks to that.” A three and a half hour flight that feels like five.  The interminable wait for your luggage to slide onto the conveyer in baggage claim. The 35 minute ride to the hotel, hoping the cabbie will let you sit in silence. The wait for Room Service. The unpacking of the suitcase. A glance in the shower. That would be nice. Too tired, the shower is reduced to a splash of cold water from the sink. Room service arrives. You sit on edge of the bed in front of the TV, a fork in one hand, the remote in the other, clicking by all News (real, fake or otherwise). A Kit-Kat calls out to you from the mini-bar. And then the M&Ms. Laying flat on your back, you float with your eyes closed, savoring the sugar high as the smooth milk chocolate coats your tongue. And then, only then, you let go, Salzberg’s letting go, it’s an inside job, and you let exhaustion sweep you away to your alarm for the Uber pick-up at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday morning.
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Riding Uptown. Solo.

New York City, United States - May 12, 2012: Heavy traffic on busy 8th Avenue in Ney York City, USA in morning. Vast number of vehicles hit the streets and avenues of Manhattan every day. Almost half of cars are yellow taxis (well recognized city icon). Taxis are operated by private companies, licensed by the NYC Taxi Commission.

May 28th. Days short of June, yet solar heaters are blowing. 84° F, and steamy.

Sidewalks are teeming with tourists.

Mid afternoon Manhattan traffic is locked bumper to bumper, snaking up Sixth Avenue.

I skipped breakfast, had a meager lunch, and I’m longing for a sugar fix. Chocolate. Now.

Waze estimates 25  min to get uptown to the office.

My Thumbs are on the keyboard.

Should it be ‘Hi’ or ‘Hi!’?  I’m not feeling ‘Hi!’ I’m not a ‘Hi!’ type. I’m more like a “Hello” or a “Hi” guy. Or maybe it’s ‘hi’.  “hi’ makes me approachable, less prickly.  Yet, it’s hard to alter the brand, callus layered on callus. ‘Hi!’ would be inauthentic or soft, and both just won’t do. Dad’s the tough guy. There’s an image to uphold. A Brand to burnish.

DK: hi
RK: Hi!

Would have preferred ‘Hi Daddy!’ But ! is good. She’s happy to hear from me.

DK: I’ll be in your building in 30 min. I’ll buy you coffee.  Me, a warm chocolate chip cookie.
RK: Can’t Dad. I’m in the middle of something.

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Cat’s Left the Cradle 2

hair-long-man

WEDNESDAY. 9:30 PM.
Medium: FaceTime.
600 miles away, Son sits in his dorm room.
(Technology. A Miracle)

Eric: Hi Dad.
Dad: Hi Eric.
Dad: When’s your interview?
Eric: Friday at 8 am.

Dad adjusts his grip on the iPad to get a better look at Son.

Eric: What are you doing?
Dad: Take your cap off.
Eric: Why?
Dad: Take it off.
Eric: Why? (Here he comes. Here he comes.)
Dad: I’m only going to ask you one more time. [Read more…]

Are you ready to feel it now?

Photo of Harry CHAPIN


Two weeks running.
Every day. Every day.
The commute in. The ride home.
It opens the day.  It closes the doors.
Same tune. One tune.
Over. And over. And over.

[John Waters: “Without obsession, life is nothing.”]

From end to end.
The tune on a loop three to six times depending on traffic.


↓ click for audio (Harry Chapin – “All My Life’s A Circle”)


The Big Gato waits. Crouched.
Tapping his fingers on the seat. Impatient.
Waiting for Chapin to stop jabbering.
And then it comes. 4:30 on the running time.
I crank the volume up.
The dashboard vibrates.
Chapin cues him up.
Michael, the Cellist. Man Singing with Soul.
DK and the rest of the band join him to belt it out to the finish:

All my life’s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
The Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.

All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why;
The Seasons’ spinning round again;
The years keep rollin’ by.


Image Source: MTVhive

Saturday Night with Harry


We saw Harry Chapin perform this song, Taxi, in one of his last live performances.   This timeless ballad continues to feed my post-Zen-glow of San Francisco…

It was raining hard in ‘Frisco,
I needed one more fare to make my night…

He’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me…

Eric (son) and I concluded our college visits last week.  The May 1 final decision date was banging on the back door.  He has 2 excellent choices.  One close to home.  One a plane ride away.  Son like Father is not long on words…and Son has been close to the vest on the final call.  I roll out of bed in the wee hours of the morning today.  Look at the clock…3:50am.  Flip open my smart phone.  Email from Eric.  A rare occurrence.  I sit down.  I rub the sleep out of my eyes.  I take a deep breath.  And I read.

“So after giving it some thought I have my mind set on W.  Here’s my reasoning:

  1. W is more expensive but W’s school rank is higher than B.
  2. W is more appealing in terms of the small class sizes.
  3. I feel that it would be easier to stand out when applying to med/grad school in a smaller school with a reputation for exceptional academics.
  4. I found the living and food situation at W to be a lot better.  Air conditioned dorms. And I’m GUARANTEED to be on campus.  Which is a short walk to class.
  5. The major drawback to W is the distance from home but I feel the educational experience is superior.  I will just deal with the travel and deal with being further away from home.
  6. I felt a greater sense of community at W, and I warmed very much to the southern hospitality.  So this is my rationale.  I’ve been getting pretty excited at the prospect of going to W the past few days, so I think my mind is made up.”

So, it’s done.  Mr. Independent has pulled the trigger without so much as a 10-minute discussion with Mom & Dad.

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