As I drove my son and daughter home it was eerily quiet. That type of quiet that’s unsettling, rather than soothing. I peeked over my shoulder at a red light and saw that my daughter had fallen asleep after forming a makeshift pillow out of her backpack and winter jacket. It was only an hour ago that I got the call from my wife. “Where are you,” she had asked, holding back a cough. She had just gotten a call from the Pre-K teacher. My daughter was sick and we needed to come pick her up.
As I was driving down FDR to the east village I made the decision to pick up my son as well. He would be getting out of school in 2 hours and it didn’t make sense to go back for him. He had after-school karate and was prepping for a test so I knew he wasn’t going to be happy about being dragged home early. I walked into his classroom and scanned the room but he was nowhere to be found. “He’s probably in the bathroom,” the teacher reassured me. Then my phone rang. It was the school nurse. My son was sick and I needed to come pick him up.
“Dad,” my son finally broke the silence. “When you were little there were no cell phones, right?”
“That’s right,” I said, peering through the rear-view mirror.
“So when I grow up there will be so many new things.”
“Things, right now, that we can’t even imagine,” I added. “And you’re going to be the one who makes those things.” He seemed to contemplate this for a moment.
“If I do make them, will you and mommy buy one?”
“We certainly will. We’ll even buy two.”
“Ok. Well, I’ll give you one for free.”
I thanked him and we continued our drive home in silence. He, in his fever-induced stage of delusion; me, marveling at the possibilities of owning two time machines.
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."