Sunday, October 12, 2008

When I was young

When I was young, I sat outside my parents’ house at 3AM looking at the stars through binoculars. Once a policeman drove by and asked me what I was doing. So I showed him the Pleiades.

When I was young I calculated how old I would be in the year 2000. The number seemed preposterously high. As if I had accidentally hit the “factorial” button on my first hand-held calculator instead of the “sum” button. I was sure there was an error somewhere. Some force would intervene either to prevent the year 2000 from coming or to prevent me from reaching it.

When I was young I worked on Wall Street. On October 19, 1987, I was on jury duty at Foley Square. I called my girlfriend, a graphic artist, during a break in the jury selection process. I thought she would wish me a happy birthday, my last before turning 30, but instead she asked me what was happening on Wall Street?! How was I to know? I was on jury duty at Foley Square. When I did find out, I was sorry I had missed the excitement, but otherwise I didn’t really care, because I didn’t have any money invested in the stock market.

When I was young, I rose at 6AM to do three laps of Central Park on my bike before work. I spent at least one day every weekend on a group ride outside the city. My vacations often consisted of bike tours. France, the California coast and Vermont were some of the destinations. When I coasted down a big hill, I thought to myself, “It’s great to be alive.” Buying a new derailleur and freewheel cluster was a big event. I had to save up for it....and for the bike tours.

When I was young I was an avid baseball fan. My obsession with the sport peaked in 1969, then again in 1986. In that year, I saw the seventh game of the World Series after spending what seemed like a small fortune for one ticket. In the days prior to the game I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Then the big day came. It was the fifth inning, and my team was losing. It wasn’t possible that I had come through all this to see them lose in the seventh game of the World Series.

When I was young in New York taxis would have been a strain on my budget. So if I had to go somewhere with no convenient subway connection, I walked. I covered the distance from my sister’s apartment on 53rd between 1st and 2nd to my apartment on 55th between 8th and 9th innumerable times on foot. I virtually had the buildings memorized, and I enjoyed being out in the fresh, albeit urban, air, regardless of season.

When I was young I cooked. It seemed everyone else in New York was going out to the latest, most sublime eatery, and only I couldn’t afford them. I learned a lot about the culinary arts during those years, much more than I would have from going to those trendy restaurants.

In another week I’ll turn 50. Now I worry about the stock market.



At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suis revenue par hasard...

Très beau, j'aime beaucoup beaucoup


At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read your article ... and I loved it.
I am turning 45 next week !!!!!!


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