M2NYi30ES – The Next Day
It was a lonely day for me, too. My wife’s pattern in the car is to fall asleep and stay that way for the entirety of the trip. “That’s what I always did when I was little,” she says, by way of justification. She must have been pretty well rested by the end of all this. She racked up a lot of hours of sleep while I was driving those roads over and over again.
I don’t remember much of it, really. I was in endurance/perseverance mode, which for me involves a loss of emotion, a loss of frivolous mental activity. All I do when e/p mode is called for is focus on the present moment, the task at hand, and how to get the task accomplished with the minimum of suffering.
I know we did accomplish it. I have evidence that we did. I just don’t really know how. I have a set of vague recollections: a pile of trash and castoff articles sitting by the curb in Charlottesville, going through the house and making that one last check before we left it forever. I remember it was kind of late, actually, when we finally took off for the trip back to New York. I know we ended the day out on Long Island. We then continued out to Montauk the next day to visit my wife’s great-aunt. There was a heat wave in the city, but we felt relieved as we drove through cool fog on our way out to the end of the island. I remember we were very glad to be out there where we could relax and get our minds right before returning to a chaos of the boxes in our apartment with all the little paths between them.
We must have been recovering somewhat by that time because I remember Montauk fairly well. Montauk, at the extreme east end of Long Island, is near The Hamptons, but it is not “the Hamptons,” per se. The three-hour drive out there passes through the Hamptons, so the contrast is clear. I mean you see some big houses and expensive properties in Montauk, but it just feels more like someone’s home town. It seems like people actually live there and that their families have lived there for some time. I never got that feeling in the Hamptons. And every Friday in the summer, from our balcony overlooking the Queensboro Bridge, we would see the traffic lining up for the trip out there. More correctly, we would see and HEAR the traffic. The horns chorused for hours on those Friday evenings, so much so that we sometimes fled to some other part of the city to avoid dealing with the noise.