Plenty Of Time

One gray morning in the misty rain,
I head out early,
to pick you up and drive you to the train.
You talk-talk-talk
all about your new life, The NYU Scene. Ramble on excitedly,
still wired from last night’s caffeine.

Stoked about things you’re working on.
A play you haven’t finished quite yet.
A song about death, inspired by eulogies
you saw at the MOMA. Or was it the MET?
Putting sentences on paper and then tearing them apart.
Piecing them back together again,
like some papier-mâché art.

We park in the lot
right below the station by Dunkin.
Watch the commuters walk by
with their morning fix of pumpkin
spiced latte and sugary bread.
Carbo loading for the long day ahead.
I am anxious that you’ll be late,
but you seem just fine to sit, and wait
til the very last minute to leave the car.

I’m in awe of how calm you are,
as you interrupt yourself to play the people-watching game.
Calling out each passer, by their stage name.
You tell me a few of the stories you’ve written.
Your wild imaginative commuter fan fiction,
about Shifty-Eye-Guy and other people you see most days.
Sad Face Lady, Short King with Mustache,
the ‘Probably Roommate’ Gays.

I see the time on the clock and my anxiety grows stronger.
I could sit here all day and talk, but you shouldn’t sit here any longer.

‘You should go now.’
‘I’ll be fine.’
‘You don’t wanna be late.’
‘I have plenty of time.’

Without missing a breath you’re back to the conversation
about your latest ensemble collaboration.
Then, when you’re ready,
to start your day.
You say ‘Love you, mama. Bye.’
And you’re on your way.
I watch as you climb the stairs. You wave. I wave. You wave.
I wonder if you know just how very brave
all of this seems to me.
Just how much this morning drive means to me…

Alone, in a line of traffic. Stopped dead.
I look up at the platform overhead.
Gray sky, gray concrete, dull silver train.
Drab people in their drab clothes in the rain. Olives, blacks, maroons, blues, blurred by the mist.
All darkness- save for one bright burst of bleach blonde. Sun kissed.
A golden orb lighting the way.
Illuminating this dreary day.

I take a time leap back to 1975,
so very long before you were alive,
to another inclement weather day.
We couldn’t go out at lunchtime to play
so we sat in the auditorium watching an almost silent movie on the screen.
The music was the dialogue.
The color gray was the scene.
Gray buildings. Gray cobblestones.
A young boy dressed in soft dark tones.
And then. A balloon.
Such contrast. Such brightness. Such a glorious red.
It was a moment that is forever etched in my head.
I fell in love then. With score and scenery.
Tone and texture. Art and beauty.

Now, that same feeling hits me without any warning,
on this gray and seemingly dull morning.
And I fall in love again. With everything. Here in my car,
looking up at the gray, and you. A bright and rising star.

You, are the sunshine.
You are the red balloon.
I take in this tiny moment.
It will all be over soon.

from The Red Balloon. You can watch the movie here

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