Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I’m hard pressed to figure out where I am or what I’m doing or even what I’m supposed to do. I’ve always seen myself as a child of nature, one of those hippie fools, who thinks life will work out if I let it, even when I sometimes want something else.
I took a walk by the Hudson River again today – not a long walk from my office, and out onto the pier where the real world glares across at me from the other side, skyscrapers catching bits of sunlight as if they had managed to capture the sun itself.
You can’t fight city hall, the old saying goes, and you can’t stop progress, and you can’t stand in the way of ambition – these are things that run over you, even when you don’t mean to get in their way.
That’s the world, and it’s hard lesson to learn at my age when I had assumed the world was less lethal. Even those who engage in the game are usually victims, struggling to find their place on the ever moving treadmill that casts you off if you’re not careful.
Love, friendship, loyalty became confused and old fashioned ideas in this new cycle of life that isn’t new to anybody but me.
So I stroll along the waterfront, looking at the lapping water from the passing ferries, understanding that even nature gets bent out of shape by this thrust towards some unimaginable goal.
I used to sit on a park bench down in
where the river mingles with the bay, and sailboats floated lazily from place
to place. I always wanted to sit there with someone pressed against my side,
someone who I could trust and could trust me, and just simply took in the
sights without needing to be anywhere or anybody or anything other than what we
were at that moment. Toms River
It is an old dream. Perhaps it vanished when the old hotel that stood at the end of pier burned down (some say deliberately when the owner could not make a living off it) and that stretch of waterway filled up with jet skis and angry young hipsters who when they weren’t creating waves were down in Atlantic City feeding casinos coffers rather than helping the poor. The world has become the playground of people like that, who ache to be better than everybody else, needing to be superior in order not to feel so down on themselves.
When all I want is that dream of a park bench and warm sunlight that isn’t reflected off some rich man’s penthouse, but off water made choppy by sailboats and geese.
Sometimes, early on a Sunday morning, I get a little of this from the
and even see some young couples strolling hand in hand along the walkway. Some
people do find their dreams, small dreams, maybe, but real, and things they can
hold on to and get warmth from, a sunset on the water, a breeze blowing in
their face, a sailboat making its slow, but steady way upstream.