As a kid, I remember a move called “If this is Tuesday, this must be
Rome,” or something like
But after working for the last decade with a weekly routine of coming to
Hoboken each Tuesday,
that movie and its destination have long changed in my mind.
This time of year, with the cool of September growing around me, it is hard not to become nostalgic for the grand old days of when I first started at the paper – when we all worked out of substantial digs diagonally located across from the current Hoboken office, and on rainy days, we might expect to be up to our ankles in water as we struggled with pathetic computers and hard copy to get the papers out.
I did not take my usual walk out to the waterfront today.
Traffic coming down the hill from Jersey City Heights was so horrendous, I drove the long way into Hoboken, down Paterson Plank Road only to get stopped by the light rail crossing that caused nearly an equally long back up, and had to cross down with the glare of sunlight making it impossible to see pedestrians.
Then, I turned uptown to the Malibu Diner and across to the office, where the curb side trees are just starting to show their change from green.
I did stop to sip coffee beneath them, one more weekly ritual that seems fitting in that world, a kind of intake of breath before the plunge into the mania that always accompanies production: meeting, briefs, lay out, and discussions about the upcoming election and the video debate will be have to do here at some point in the near future.
The breathlessness of production and being apart of something important in the community has never completely escaped me, though it sometimes feels strange – because I don’t always believe in my own importance.
We all live our lives on the edge of something we don’t always understand, a sense of place or time or reality that doesn’t always keep time with what goes on inside of her.
Sociologists called it psychic distance, that space between who you seem to other people and who you think you are. Some people can close that distance and feel more comfortable within their own skin than other people can, some never do, and always live duel lives, one inside, one outside, and trying always to keep them straight, trying, too, also to keep from laughing too hard about who others think we are.
In college, I always felt very distant from my exterior self. These days, I’m pretty snug with only an occasional lapse, a pondering of why people think I am who I pretend to be, when inside, I think I’m somebody else.
I don’t take this disassociation as seriously as I did in college – perhaps because I’ve spent most of my life being as real as possible as often as possible, even to the point of exposing who I really am inside to the outside world, and risking the world not liking me.
I guess the real challenge is to make sure that I like myself, inside and out.
And for the most part, I do.