Friday, September 15, 2006

Better Luck Next Year

A somewhat sedate crowd today on the 81 back to Eagle Rock. It's only 5:55, and the bus isn't that busy. People seem especially spent today. These first weeks in September, after the languid, hazy daydream of June, July, and August, can be tough. It's like suddenly we are meant to snap back to attention and our concepts of time to become rigid and tightly structured once again.

One's concept of time in the summer is more gaseous: perhaps it's the seemingly endless sunlight. Things will get done "sometime" or "after I get back from vacation" or "in August". (Everyone knows that nothing, absolutely not one thing, ever gets done in August.) And then, suddenly, you're back from the Labor Day road trip, you've got a suitcase of dirty laundry and a stack of summer reading you were planning to get to, and seemingly bottomless August is used up once again -- perhaps you'll have 40 more -- and you're thrown back into the grind of real time and waning days.

A sense of urgency and creeping panic sets in as September and the daylight evaporate with alarming speed and the year begins to show signs of tapering to another twilight end. One begins to scramble to salvage the year, to redeem it from the slack and lazy efforts of Spring and Summer. At least I have October, you tell yourself. I'll get this all done in October. But if you don't, November and December, shot through like Swiss cheese with holidays, lie in wait. .

And, of course, you don't get it all done, that first chapter of the novel you started to write lies fallow, your belly has not been reined in, and your mastery of Spanish is worse than it was last year.

[Finally, some drunk people have gotten on the bus. Well, at least, they smell drunk.]

You have all Winter to reflect on the various errors of your ways.

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