Monday, July 16, 2012

How I became good friends with a 21 year old lesbian

95° today. 100 tomorrow. There's a brief period just after sunset when one can walk outside without major discomfort. After sunset the humidity shoots up rather quickly & the cool down is slow. In the last hour here the temp went up from 88 to 90 according to the official reading. It can be as yucky at midnight as at noon.

I've become less fond of summer as I've gotten older. I didn't like the heat as a kid, especially at night in bed trying to fall asleep,  the ineffective swiveling fan wafting three seconds of warm breeze every pass in my direction. Summers improved when we got a four foot deep circular pool.

In my forties, I started spending more time near open bodies of water, Arthur Kill  Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook,  or sitting in bars, or just staying in my air-conditioned apt - although the built-in 220V unit was probably more expensive to run per hour than driving an air-conditioned car.

My options became very limited without a car. The problems there began whenever I had to get to my job at Pearl Arts Supply store when my car was in the shop, which it was too often. My work hours did not correspond with a limited  schedule of shuttle buses from the Metropark train station, a six minute  trip from my station in Rahway, a short walk from my apt. So I had to take a long, wandering local bus, which ran on the hour, to Woodbridge Mall. That trip took 45 minutes. My car commute was 10-15.  Then I had to walk from one end of the mall to the other, through a dept store, out the door, across acres of parking lot,  over a hill, & across U.S. Route at a notoriously dangerous intersection where no driver really looked out for pedestrians, then across another lot to the Pearl store. This walk was another 15-20 minutes.  This trip was pure wasted misery on hot summer day. Sometimes the bus a/c was broken. In no way was it a character builder, like the elaborate bus trips  & long walks I had to take sometimes  at age 20 to get to my job in a great record store when my lousy car then was busted.  What I learned there later qualified me for a radio show at WFMU. After work at Pearl, at either 6:30 or 9 pm, I could usually get a co-worker to drop me off at the Mall, or better the Metropark Station, or best of all,  at 9, occasionally one of a couple of college student part-timers who really liked me would drive me all the way home & we'd pick up a pizza & six pack on the way. That's  how I became good friends with a 21 year old lesbian when I was 46.

Your writing is so lyrical and impeccable, even when you are writing about a commute and dying cars. The lead up to the end of this story is the journey itself. Thank you for taking the time and ease of conversation to write it for me.
I swear I had no idea where this was going until I wrote the last sentence.
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