The expression “I was waiting at the airport when my ship came it” comes to mind. The last Monday in July and I had a lot of places to go and subsequently a lot of time to channel my ADD (maybe ADD-H) and consider all the things I didn’t do and whether opportunity knocked and I was in the basement and whether it really matters or is part of the big, gigantic plan from the universe.
If you take a good look at the railroad crossing, you will notice the gates(not sure if that is the technical term) are going up or going down. I am sure if you are a train person or have a trained eye (sorry), you can assess whether the train was on it’s way past or had already passed by. Time is up. The train had passed and I missed it. I was looking forward to seeing it rolling along and counting the cars. By the time I got to the point where I had to stop, I realized that I didn’t actually know if it was coming or going. Then, please follow this very circuitous train of thought…. (sorry about the puns …I must have taken an extra Vitamin B obnoxious), did it matter in my life, at that moment and would it matter. I quickly determined that lots of things may present themselves at any given moment, but we don’t necessarily avail ourselves of them. When I was in middle school (which in New York City was called a junior high school) we had choices about which high school we might want to go to. Several of the magnet high schools required an entrance exam. I was allowed, by my parents, to take the exam for the High School of Music and Art, not to be confused with the High School for the Performing Arts (of “Fame”). I applied for the Arts program and I was accepted. It was not in a good neighborhood in Manhattan and bordered Harlem. It was the 1960s. Someone was murdered in that neighborhood, shortly after I got the acceptance letter, and that dream was dashed. My parents worried about the commute and rightfully so, I can say in retrospect and yet, maybe my “destiny” might have taken me on another path. Oddly enough Paul Stanley of “KISS” would have been a classmate had I attended and then more oddly, Bruce Kulick another short term member of “KISS” was a classmate at the high school I ended up attending. I didn’t really like the band so I guess it is of little consequence.
Ending up in Massachusetts has hardly been the end of anything. It was the beginning of finding out what has unfolded after 41 years of moving out of “The City”. It has all the components of a wonderful story with romances, successful and failed, parenthood, and grandparenthood. It encompasses learning what my curiosity about people would lead me to professionally. It showed me how to move, and move again and then again, and how to pack up memories but discard the ones that I don’t need to dwell on. It showed me how to forge new friendships, and to let go of others that did not endure. It’s hardly a “Tale of Two Cities” though it did have the best and worst of times. It was about understanding being patient when a train goes by, because it wasn’t my train.
The end of the alone part of my day landed me at the beach at three in the afternoon. I knew that as I arrived, people were packing up to head on their way. I waited patiently for the stragglers to leave. I was alone with the beach and a few seagulls. I used to get angry at my parents for bringing us to the beach on Long Island late in the day, long after the concession stand closed, and long after the crowds had left. By the time we got there, we missed the action, but the beach was deserted and it was ours as far as the eye could see. I think they knew the secret of timing for the right reason. The beach will be there long after we are gone. Nature, the equilizer, that calms even the most ADD of us.