Wednesday, August 24, 2005

before the fall

There are freshmen -- everywhere. On my way from the subway to my apartment alone there are two dorms and like salmon upstream go the new students up the stairs with their lamps and laptops and big comfy pillows. I kind of can't stand it. This is the first year I haven't moved anywhere, changed anything for the coming of fall. Fall will be here and it will mean nothing, for the first time since I was a toddler, except No More Summer.

Maybe that's why I've been in a little bit of a funk lately, because I'm running out of opportunity to be a child prodigy. (Memo to self: if you make it through college without being Discovered, that window may be officially closed.) A friend of mine from college who's been abroad for a year came home and, as we sat in Washington Square Park watching the little new-to-NYUers swarm by, he mulled over the dilemma that faces anyone interested in being an artist: will grad skool kill your ambition or refine it? Is it soul-killing or basic and vital to earn money? If you decide to be a teacher, are you giving up?

Yesterday at work when everything felt hopeless and pointless for a minute, I stepped outside for some fresh air. I collected myself and started back, and, while crossing 10th Avenue, I glanced at the window of a mud-splashed blue Ford Expedition and recognized the driver. He looked right back at me and looked like he was trying to place me too, although I had already placed him: I'd know Tony Soprano anywhere. I smiled slightly and nodded, the way I would to an acquaintance, and kept walking. I didn't even look back. But that was all I needed to make it through the rest of the day. Thanks, Tony!

I just hope I don't need too many celebrity sightings to make it through the fall.


Adam said...

might the change in seasons be enough? new york is spectacular in the fall. the heat will let up, the clothes will get better, the upper east side with fill up again... all you need to do is get caught up in the atmosphere of change, even if you're not making any of the change happen yourself.

my life is about to change dramatically. visit me in Swarthmore please?

Andrew Ironwood said...

One of my old music composition teachers had something like this included in his bio at a 'new music' festival where he had one of his pieces performed:

...upon earning his doctorate, he realized to his horror that he was now no longer fit for any form of employment other than teaching at the university level...