Thursday, October 29, 2009


At 4:25 p.m., the pressures of the week let up. No, let me correct that: they disappear. I had accomplished all that needed to be done, against all odds and, if I may say so (because I am proud of this) – without a mental breakdown.

But, here's an admission of failure: I did not bike to work this morning. At home, at 9:02, I understood that things were getting tight for a 9:30 class. I chose the bus.

I caught the best possible one – number 15. It’s closest to me and it runs without local stops. I always enjoy this morning ride (on days when I do not bike to work). It’s full of Asian graduate students (I live close to a cluster of apartments favored by foreign students, especially from southeast Asian countries). They’re animated and engaged (with each other, in languages that I do not understand) and they mostly disembark at engineering (two stops before mine). During the ten minute trip, I think about how it is to be them – here, in a country that is not their own, in a state that could not be more different from places they would call home. Maybe I see a little of me, the immigrant, in them. Maybe.

In my office, I work with such intensity that I almost cannot imagine pausing for my late afternoon espresso down the hill (on my long days – Tuesdays and Thursdays – that espresso is the highlight. Hands down).

Except that I do stop just before class. And I run down for the espresso, with the lecture notes that I want to review one more time.

But it’s raining. Not drizzling, raining. My notes get wet, I get wet, my camera gets wet.

woman at library entrance

And then, class is finished and it’s over. I’m on the bus, empty now at this later hour...

DSC04222 a dreamy daze. Nothing (except this post!) has to be done before tomorrow. Sure, sure, the transcripts from today’s New York hearings – I want to read those, And I want to talk to my family. And I have emails that I’d like to attend to, but this is my choice. I could go read a comic book at the water’s edge for the rest evening and it would be okay.

I go home and attend to transcripts, student emails and this Ocean post. But I'm okay with that. I know I didn't have to do any of it.