Sunday, May 23, 2010

THE MAD DASH

     It may be decades between runners, but the quick leap and the mad dash are the same, differing gender aside. As I was tooling down a local street at 7 in the morning last week, the high school gazelle sprinted toward the school bus. I am quite familiar with her story.

I, too – you, too – were late for the school bus, some of us chronically, others in the occasional mode. One awful morning, I heard my bus, No. 15, yellow (we also had green-colored ones) coming, its characteristic hissing air brakes announcing arrival at the Eckerson and Buena Vista roads stop in Hillcrest, N.Y.

I jumped out of bed, pulled on the pants I wore the day before (which had been left on a chair, natch), stomped my feet into already tied shoes, the heels pushed down, threw a sweater over my PJ tops, grabbed a coat after I almost fell down the stairs and ran for No. 15, just barely getting in the closing door at the Eckerson and Pascack roads stop.

My hair, then in ample supply, was uncombed, I still had to get my shoes on right, and my stomach was growling  for lack of breakfast. I had yet to go to the bathroom.

My father, who for years had gotten my brother and I ready for school, now left it to high school-age boys to do the job. My mother was already at work. So, there was no one to blame for my lateness but myself. Guess watching The “You Bet Your Life” rerun the night before, at 11:15, did the trick. Or maybe I was just lazy.

At least the high school gazelle who I saw barely make it to her bus – number unknown, but still yellow – looked in pretty good shape. Yet I had to chuckle that youngsters were still like we were now so long ago. Zillions of minutes later, in a life so quickly lived, I see today’s young world tethered to iPods, iPads, Internet everything. Schools are very expensive. Everything is expensive. There are so many things for a youngster to do, so much so that appointment books are kept. Yet the simple fact that the grandfather-aged fellow overslept in 1960 and so does the kid in 2010, and the same mad dash to the bus is made, offers comforting kinship. 

And renewal. It made me feel as if had to study for the upcoming June New York State Regents exams. 

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