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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nostalgia for sale

There's this early-'70s Monte Carlo for sale on Route 9, about two miles from work. Bob had one years ago. He planned to restore it but ended up selling it. Now it's one of those things that I regularly tease him about.

Seeing that car every day makes me think of Bob. And more, naturally. It's painted white, the curves and creases on the sheetmetal standing out nicely in the low morning sun. Those shapes fit a space in my mind like a puzzle piece, taking me back to that driveway in North Hills. Bob's was green and dull, but that's not important. I can hear the rumble of the 350, smell that old-car exhaust, a sweet note with a slightly bitter ending to it. That car was old then, older now, but the moment is right here. That's how my mind works sometimes. It's a little jolt, a record skipping, a heart murmur. A step outside of time.

I want to write a poem about this.

Maybe it's just another form of measurement. Like going to a beach and seeing seagulls. They're not the same ones, but it sure feels that way. Or seeing kids in school, thinking, "yeah, I would've hung out with her, been in a band with him." Or being in the mountains. They haven't changed, but I have. These things are yardsticks, measuring tapes. Or scenes out the window of the moving train of my time. A slideshow on the living-room wall of my mind.

Connie said time's not linear. Today I think there's something to that.

I can't tell if this is making sense right now. Good night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More miles

Conversation outside of King Neptune's, Lake George:

Steve: Hey, did you ride your motorcycle today?

Amy: You bet.

Steve: Perfect day for it.

Amy: Yup.

Steve: Do a lot of riding this summer?

Amy: Yeah, like 1800 miles.

Steve: Whoah. I rode my bike more than that!

That's crazy or cool, depending on your perspective. Maybe even crazy cool, if you're under 25.

A Letter to My Students

I don’t say it enough, but I care about you. Each of you. That’s why I’m here. It’s too much work to do it for the money, so there must be ...