Monday, July 17, 2006

Master of Reality

Apparently you can in fact get jet lag on a train trip from Penn Station to Albany. Or maybe I was just getting the city out of my system when I went to bed at 11:30 on Friday night and woke up at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon. I think I could really get to know this part of the country, though, I really do. It wouldn’t take that long, actually. Taking a road trip in this region is not like the south or the west coast, where you can drive for two days and still be in the same state. Here, you can get from New York to Massachusetts in the span of six tracks of Graceland. This allows more time for swimming and eating and sleeping, which is all you could ever want in a mini vacation. Well, that and a porch that has been around since 1739 and good friends with whom to converse with on said porch.

Even so, how far do you have to get away from New York, in order to get away from New Yorkers? You can be lying in the sand, of Massachusetts, thinking about nothing at all, when you hear, “Now Adele, can you pullease stop hitting your brotha with the shovvvell?” That’s when you jump back in the lake, because even the voice of a New York mother cannot carry through water.

The train ride back to the city makes you remember that this is Rip Van Winkle territory. As soon as you pass Riverdale and you see the George Washington Bridge, when you look down at the Sunday Times and see that the Middle East is still burning, and the U.S. is being attacked by heat, you remember that your phone is back in service, there are people you have to call, for no particular reason at all, an important appointment on Monday, because all appointments are important, houseguests arriving on Tuesday, and the list could go on, until you reach Penn Station again, which you kind of forgot exists, until every single smell of New York punches you directly in the face. But it’s a good punch, more like a solid tap to wake you up, because although they say that sleep depravation is not healthy, at least you see more than when you sleep too much.


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