Start spreading the news: I want to be a part of it, but New York just ain’t happening for me today. It’s right across the river, too, but some days, once you’re ensconced in your hotel room — mere feet from not one but two comfy beds, even — “across the river” might as well be “across the Universe.” I traded into this Newark trip at the last minute to get Saturday off, and it’s one of those pesky airport layovers that’s too long to be short, but too short to be long; New York City is a very manageable train ride away, and Do I? or Don’t I? has tormented me now for days.
I love to lament the bygone glamour days of my chosen career, even if most of them pre-date me, and I know I have worn the downtown layover topic somewhat thin. I like to See and Do on my layovers whenever possible, if for no other reason than that it helps me to create the illusion of a fascinating life on social media, and if it’s Seeing and Doing you’re after, you’ll definitely heart NY. And the last time I was in New York City, we bought our discount show tickets at the World Trade Center, so it’s been a while. But not every day at this gig can be a Glory Day. We had a long day yesterday, we have kind of a long day tomorrow; the train into town is easy from the Newark airport, but it also costs $25 round trip, and that’s before I spend a penny in an Indian restaurant or, especially in this of all towns, a bookstore; it’s thirty degrees and supposed to rain or possibly snow, and the only sweater I have in my bag is one that I also occasionally wear in Hawaii — the reasons (“excuses” is such an annoyingly apt word) do pile up, and some days, the allure of curling up with a book and a glass of wine and watching other people be cold out the window will not be denied. I am seldom one to turn down an opportunity to ogle big-nosed, five-o’clock-shadowed, dark-haired men, but we’ll have a plane full of them tomorrow (in this regard, EWR, LGA, and PHL never disappoint), and it’s not like I can’t have Indian food delivered.
I am a mad fan of the Big Adventure, but airline life is a many-faceted (and uproariously deranged) proposition, and sometimes it’s just a job. No celebrity sightings today, no hilarious cross-cultural misunderstandings or epic photo ops. But I’m gonna get some rest, and I’m gonna get some writing done, and there was that raccoon in the parking lot that I thought for a second was maybe a monkey — not everything that ever happens is Big, and the Big Apple is more than I was up to today. But there’s beauty (not to mention blog posts) in the small stuff, too, and the book I brought won’t read itself. And the next time I’m tempted to sulk on a boring airport layover, I’ll have something to do: there’s still A Day in New York to plan, after all.