Tuesday, October 21, 2014

odd time

I am now listening to Pandora and a particularly plaintive rendition of "Who Knows Where the Time Goes."  The crooner is Kate Wolf and she is killing me.

Usually I have to hear a song a dozen times before I get it. The first time I heard "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" it was as background in the movie, "The Subject Was Roses." Then, I was only 23, and it nearly ripped my belly out.  Didn't have to hear it a dozen times to get the message.

Last night I was on a flight back from Newark.  It was a beautifully clear day and for nearly the entire flight I was able to see the land below.  We flew over Manhattan and I could make out Central Park so well that I could count the baseball diamonds near the south end of the park where I once sat blissfully on a sweet summer day.  The plane continued north and I saw the rest of the park and city.

I must have turned my head away for a spell because the next time I looked down I saw a bridge that I could not quite recognize.  It was not the George Washington because right next to it was yet another bridge.  Eventually I got it, but not before something unnerving occurred.

When I could not figure out what bridge it was, I tried to get a sense of the flight path.  We were flying over a body of water of course (the bridge was there for a reason). I knew that Boston is on the ocean and the flight up to Boston must go up the coast.  But as I looked from the coast across the water--that was now too wide to be the Hudson--I saw a body of land that, ironically, I could not identify.  It looked, from way up, to be desolate--as if uninhabited. As we continued in a direction that I knew had to be north, the land continued and it became even more desolate looking.

Where in the world in 2014 near New York City could there be a land mass so close to the coast on which there was not much but trees?

I kept staring out the window and then probably audibly gasped when I saw the land fork in a v shape.  Then I knew where I was.

I knew where I was because that fork represents the end of Long Island and I grew up on this long island in the 60s. So it was ironic and a bit embarrassing to admit that I did not recognize that the body of water beneath me was the Long Island Sound, duh, and the long land mass was where I journeyed through adolescence. (The Bridge I saw had been the Throgs Neck which is adjacent to the Whitestone bridge)

But my ignorance was not the most astonishing thing.  What was/is, is that I did not see any homes on the island. It looked uninhabited. When I was a kid the eastern part of the island was desolate, but not this way.  And in 2014 there are suburban communities that go to the tip of Orient Point at one fork and Montauk on the other point.  Sure I was way up in the air, but it was a clear night and I saw nothing.

The moment reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode where a plane breaks the time barrier and the travelers look over Queens in 1958 and instead of seeing LaGuardia airport they see the 1939 worlds fair grounds. Then to try to get to 1958 they break the barrier again and now there are no fair grounds, but dinosaurs instead.I saw no dinosaurs, and I know Rod Serling was not in the pilot's seat, but it was an odd moment and momentarily unsettling.

Coincidentally, I will very soon be concluding my annual lap around the track, and beginning a new journey.  It is always an interesting and unusual time to be reminded of one's emergence on the scene and, as we get older, realize the inevitably finite nature of our stint on this side of the curtain.

The plane trip view and the odd sense of another time fueled my musing about the time I have spent inhaling and exhaling, and what I have/have not accomplished. Who knows where the time has gone.

I knew that time had gone and that it was 2014 when I landed. I had to pay 58 smackers for parking at Logan for a grand total of one day and a few hours.

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