Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Time Travel

Last night, I was heading into the downtown PATH station at the World Trade Center site as I frequently do after an excursion to Brooklyn, and I happened to casually look up.

And saw this.

I blinked a few times—confused—and pulled out my camera.

Where had this come from, this emblem of rebirth mixed with hubris?

When I head out on extended trips, it's like time doesn't exist for me. I operate outside of time-lapse. Everything is so brutally authentic that home isn't real to me. I've sometimes said that I left home at age 34 in 2001, and when I returned at the end of 2007, I was still 34 in all but official years. Time hadn't existed for me. Except that then I'd realized that I wasn't 34. I was 42. I'd missed some essential years, the ones where everyone else had married and spawned and hell...my city, my home, all had changed, and I'd missed the changing.

I only missed ten months in 2011, and that's not enough to throw me for the loop I went into after the on-and-off for seven years stuttering journeys of the last decade.

But it's enough for change on the home front, for family and friends to relocate, break-up, for babies to come into the world, men to go from lovelorn to hostile, for mice to infest and lose their lives to snap-traps before vanishing into condo lore, old friends to cheerfully, hilariously reappear after some twenty-plus years, and for the tallest building in the city to materialize.

And for me, it's still March of 2011. Or even January of 2001. And I still have plenty of time. 

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