Monday, February 7, 2011

Tonight at Liberty Hall

On Fridays I tend to sneak home from the office earlier than I do the first four nights of the week. Shoot me. I am human after all - or perhaps just a reasonable facsimile thereof. Nevertheless close enough to pass inspection, albeit not a probing, incisive one. Monday through Thursday it is past 6:00 p.m. when I head out the door and get into Skate to begin the trek home. Fridays however I tend to try to have ass in driver's seat by 5:15 or 5:30 at the latest. Burning the midnight oil? Not this guy. But since my work day starts at 4:30 a.m. I offer no apology whatsoever for its ending time in the p.m. - even on Fridays.

Winter here thus far has been much like winter across the North American continent has been: brutal. The pattern thus far has been a series of frigid days back-to-back-to-back that warm up just enough to permit the sky to shake loose snow in a quantity that I have no memory of ever having seen before. Perhaps we have gotten more snow in winters past than we have had gifted upon us in winter present and I have simply blocked out the memory. I know not.

Friday night I did not actually get out of the office and into my car until slightly after 5:30. Apparently a lot of people are on the road at that time - at least on the stretch of Route 287 South in the Parsippany area - for shortly after getting onto the highway I found myself sitting stopped on the highway. Too many cars, too few lanes and no one was moving. As I sat in traffic, I did one of my favorite things to do. I took a look at the folks in the vehicles around me. While they were by and large a nondescript lot - except for the two young ladies (I am awful estimating ages but if I had to guess I would have placed their ages somewhere in the early 20's) who appeared to be having as much fun listening to music inside of their car as I have seen some people have at concerts. I grew exhausted just watching them flailing around in the front seat of their vehicle.

What pleased me even more than the impromptu bit of performance art that unwound in the middle lane was the fact that I could see them. And I could see the other people in the other vehicles around me. I could see them and not their silhouettes illuminated by the headlights of another. The people themselves were plainly visible. As I was to them, which is how I know that the a##hole behind me who laid on his horn when I failed to move with urgency when the vehicle in front of me moved forward roughly eleven feet saw clearly my response to his directive, which was since he was riding solo he might try sexual self-gratification as a way to pass the time. While I did not know at the time how well he read lips, when he pulled out around me to the right at his first opportunity and shared with me his belief that I was indeed #1, I realized that he was quite skilled in that discipline.

We are only in February's first week and I fully expect that more lousy, bone-chilling, stormy weather awaits us. But all hope is indeed not lost. The amount of daylight contained in each day grows just a bit from one day to the next. Pitchers and catchers shall report to big league Spring Training facilities across Florida and Arizona within the next week or so. February is the shortest month after all. By day's end today we will have already passed its quarter pole. March will be but three short weeks away.

Three short weeks. Stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive if you can. That light guiding us all home at day's end is not merely daylight. It is the light leading us out of this hard land. Spring will soon be here. Here is to hoping that it arrives right on time.

-AK

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