Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Driving Lessons

It was a mostly forgettable evening. In the 'dog days', when baseball players try to re-energize for the stretch run, there are often moments like this. The game dragged on. The Detroit pitcher was excruciatingly erratic, the plate seemingly a moving target. The crowd was eerily quiet. My friend Tom and I left the stadium after 6 innings, talking about food, the weather or almost anything but we had just paid to witness. Then matters become interesting.

I am one of those people obsessed with the time it takes me to drive from point A to point B . Under 2 hours and 10 minutes from Fort Lee to Great Barrington fills me with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Over 2 hours and 30 minutes for the same journey leads to consternation bordering on anger. Each trip to my daughter's apartment in New York City is mainly an excuse to discuss my ability to circumnavigate traffic obstacles.

In this context, last night's journey home from the game made all that had come before without consequence. Since Tom and I had exited the stadium early, there was no rush of people to our parking garage. Thanks to my son, and the Bx 13, I had discovered a wonderful new lot, and an exciting new route, which shortened my journey to and from the house that taxpayer's money and Steinbrenner built. Pulling out of the garage, Tom and I checked our watches to confirm the hour and minute of departure.

The first critical decision was whether to take the Deegan or the side roads to the bridge. Normally, highway driving is avoided. But tonight, in its apparent emptiness, this road beckoned. And so, off we went. Smooth sailing.

The merge to the Bridge went swiftly and easily. The path from there to NJ unencumbered. The streets of Fort Lee quiet.

11 minutes after having gotten into Tom's car, he pulled up to my residence. 11 minutes! A new land speed record.

The evening suddenly seemed an overwhelming success. I was almost giddy as I entered my apartment. I turned on the television and the game was still in the same inning as when I last left my Stadium seat. Could there be anything more perfect?

The only discouraging note was that this drive was engineered and undertaken not by me, but by Tom. I was but a passenger in his moment of triumph. I now am driven by a passion to beat his mark. The gauntlet has been laid down before me. 10 minutes or bust.


Anonymous said...

move to city and get a life. Ted

Pam said...

Tom can make it to California and back in 11 minutes!