Going down into station, waiting for train, stepping on train, got nothing on driving through rural dark with flashes of complete light in the straight down and on rain. There was no thunder I could hear, the electricity must have been far away, but it makes the world of us, that road, clearer and naturally more than Times Square but only for that half second, which you cannot see at all, you can’t know anything.
The rain, rain, and now when I drive, I think, do you drive your life, do you hold it in two lightly closed hands, in not turning on the cruise control, in holding at 50 all the way home when the speed limit is 70, in deciding to stay on the road and to be careful, as you always are?
I am driven through one Hasidic neighborhood on my way to the airport, this trip I was driven through on the sabbath, during Passover, I knew this, but everyone looked the same, I mean, they always look the same, that’s kind of the point.
“Why do they put plastic over their hats, Ms Schurman?”
“Because they’re very fancy hats, and they don’t want to get them wet. They’re expensive.”
“They are,” another student confirms.
The men and the women and the children, and I’m always looking at them thinking, are they happy? Are they happier than me? Is there something you can sacrifice to be happy?
All the tornado threats were over, I had earlier gotten to enjoy being out and with people who had been told the heavens’ winds might drag us out of our lives and turn our sanctuaries inside out, we ordered another round and drank it like very small polite Romans.
People with enough room, is the strangest thing about being back and forth, there is never enough room, not for anyone, and then to be where, would you like to lie down, starfish it?
Or where you went is uptown or downtown, to Queens or to Bay Ridge, a letter or a number, bear in mind there is no H, I, K, O, P, T, U, V, W, X, or Y. Use any other letters. Use any but 8, 9. There is no 8, 9, so how free were you? You were out of the rain.
I drove the storm with one wet shoulder where the rain had gotten me as one shoulder was not under cover as I walked to the car, otherwise inside I was dry.