A Yankee's Musing

Monday, August 20, 2007

close encounters

Her name is BeeBee; his name is Manny. We share the Suburu waiting room. It is hot and stuffy in here, and small, very small. The TV drones on an on about the soon-to-be magnitude 5 hurricane. I think those people in the way will be devastated by this natural phenomenon--or is it natural? Can it be another symptom of how we have disrupted nature's natural order in our world and the atmosphere surrounding it? We continue to litter space, too. Is it all coming back to bite us in the proverbial ass?

The Suburu waiting room has been active today. Since I have a three hour wait, I have watched others come and go. There was a pocked-face man who couldn't take his eyes off the TV, and the woman with the Apple computer noticing noone, just the screen flickering from her lap. And then there was a middle-aged couple, lumpy and unfriendly, and eating and talking and totally disrupting any possibility of introspective thought. But then, shortly after that wave of people left, in came BeeBee and Manny. They are New York City transplants and they are interesting and fun. Manny owned a publishing company and regaled me with stories and mishaps. BeeBee was a special education teacher and they both loved the contrast between New York City and here in the mountains. Ah, kindred spirits. Unfortunately their car was quickly fixed and ready to roll. They offered me a ride, but it is not realistic. I would only have to turn around and hitch a ride back later. I will wait.

But I have my computer, and wonders of wonders, there is wireless internet access in this tiny room. I do email, I empty out old deleted mail from two addresses, boxes that have been accummulating for over three months. I update my security, and I play some bridge, cribbage, and solitaire. And now I visit my blog. It is good to just free write on it today---no lengthy preparations: write, save on disc, go to computer port, pay to download disc on site, and double check it. This is raw writing today. Sounds so potentially sexy. Isn't. I am thinking how by this time next week, Melissa, Wayne and I will have unloaded my car, situated the cats, and probably now in route on the streets of the city in quest of lunch.

As I think of this, I feel a little twinge in my throat, a tightness in my chest, and tears forming just on the rim of my eyes. I am always sad to leave my touchstone home here, and this year is no different. I will miss the freedom of not having to worry all the time--those quiet, dangerous kinds of worry that come with living in a city targeted by terrorists, a city whose infrastructure is self-destructing, a city where my car has to be moved from one side of the street to the other several times a week and is a sitting duck for accidents and vandalism, a city where the heat and humidity render me useless. But I will embrace the sounds of many languages, different appearances, variety of foods, daily challenges that make me learn more about me and the universe outside of myself. And the students, oh how I have missed them. It is a rocky journey, to live in the city. You never for a second forget where you are, I never for a second cease to be amazed how NYC truly is a crossroads, a smaller cosmos of the world.

Manny and BeeBee remind me of why I love two contrasting parts of the world and the people who inhabit them. I have been in this tiny room for four hours now. CNN drones on and repeats itself about the hurricane, the lost miners, another body recovered from the collapsed bridge, the death of Leona Helmsley, and how Bush has already declared emergency status to Texas in case the hurricane goes there. Hmmm...now that gives me pause. Florida and Texas always seem to get preemptive consideration when disaster threatens, and yet Louisana and Mississippi still are wallowing in abuse and neglect. That does not endear me to my country's leaders one bit. There was a fire in the Deutch bank at Ground Zero, two firefighters are dead, and now we hear the mayor of New York City respond. It is sad. It never seems to end. There is nothing simple about this life we experience, if we allow ourselves to think at all. Everything effects everything else. There is no such thing as an isolated event---everything comes under the heading, I believe, of close encounters.