Amtrak 2295 is running fifteen minutes late.
Outside, the sun is dipping behind a bank of billowing storm clouds.
Inside, the air is cool and dry. I lean back in my seat, rapping my arms around my t-shirted chest to keep warm.
All around me, passengers prattle into their cell phones, revealing slivers of their lives.
“She doesn’t want the side affects of the medication,” one woman says.
“All the women in law school are either married or ugly,” some (jerky) guy says.
Abbi and I are on our way home from Boston where we spent our far-too-fast weekend with dear friends Jenny and Luke in Brookline, and Rob and Claudine in Westford.
Jogging through Central Park Thursday morning, I told Abbi that I couldnÕt wait to get out of New York. The city had turned to its sweaty, stinky alter-ego.
It was a pleasure, then, to sit at the bar at Jenny and Luke’s favorite neighborhood Italian place surrounded by votive candles, wine and laughter.
And it was a pleasure — silly and pure like childhood — to dive into Rob and Claudine’s cool lake, laugh on the inner tube behind their ski boat, and bang on drums with my old Smokey Junglefrog pal, Fish.
Summer comes in fits and starts, these days. It doesn’t seems quite right that we squirrel ourselves away in our chilly corporate towers unaware of the heat, humidity or storms outside save for the rare glimpse out the window, or the brief walk to the subway.
It doesn’t seem quite right that we disappear into work for five days, only to escape for two. Or that we work fifty weeks only to “vacation” for two. Or that we work forty years only to rapidly deteriorate in the last… two.
It’s in moments like these, when the sun is setting on warm memories of water skiing and hiking and singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” at the top of our lungs, that the balance of things seems out of whack.
Everything moves quicker now. I’m afraid that, in the end, I’ll have wasted every day.
Most of ’em, anyway. That last two were fine examples of the way it should be. Like when we were seven-years-old, running and jumping and laughing outside from dusk til dawn, wringing every last drop of joy from the daylight.