A Farewell To Arms
Nights like these it feels as though I’m the last person in New York City.
56th Street is quiet. There was no traffic on Ninth Avenue. The office was quiet. Everyone is off to the beach, the country, the mountains. Everyone is off to find just one moment of peace from this crazy, messed up world.
I’ll be the last one out first thing in the morning. I’m booked on a 7:03 a.m. unreserved (“Wear you deodorant,” the saleswoman said) Amtrak. I arrive Providence at 10:30 where Seamus will pick up me and drive us north to Rob’s. The BBQ begins at 1 p.m. I expect to be passed out on a deck chair by sundown, waking only briefly to swat at pesky mosquitos.
Last year this time I was resting up for my big bike ride around Manhattan. Two years ago I was marrying my buddy James in Hawaii. The year priot I was marrying off my brother. Before that I was watching Tall Ships in the harbor. And the one prior, I locked myself away in the cool A.C. of my Hell’s Kitchen apartment and wrote the first draft of my ‘Mo Hart’ screenplay.
This year, reflecting upon “freedom” and “liberty,” I wonder if perhaps the Declaration of Independence — a noble document, to be sure — should be re-titled. Perhaps The Bill of Goods. Or The Capitalist Manifesto. A Farewell To Arms. A League of Their Own. “Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.”
It’s not the first time that Aimee Mann’s said it best:
Today’s the fourth of July
Another June has gone by
and when they light up our town I just think
What a waste of gunpowder and sky
Have a happy one.