I went into the office tonight to do some work. I have much, much more work at my day job than I can accomplish Mon-Fri/9-5, and too much responsibility at home to stay late during the week. So, from time to time, after the kids go to bed, I drive to the office to try to keep my head above water. Given that my work is entirely electronic, I should be able to do most of it from home--but I've never bothered to get my home computer, or even my work laptop, properly configured for remote network access. So, I have physically travel to the office if I want to do anything inside the firewall. I don't really mind, since I find it hard to concentrate on "work" work (as opposed to my "personal" work) at home. I've always been a minor workaholic, but since becoming a family guy, it's harder to truly indulge that habit as much as I would like. Feel free to debate amongst yourselves the extent to which all this reveals my complex neuroses.
But anyway, to the point. Near my office I can look over the Hudson River to Manhattan. Despite nearly two decades of residency in and around that mighty city, I still never tire of gazing at the skyline when I need a mental break. Tonight, however, was a very damp, foggy night. Except for a tiny haze of light that looked to be coming from somewhere near Chelsea Pier, you could not see an inkling that New York City existed over the black, misty gulf of the Hudson. I have never seen it that heavily obscured. It was as if you were standing at the edge of an ocean, staring out to endless, invisible horizons. To complete the effect, there were even ship foghorn blasts--something pretty rare on that stretch of waterway--droning out in the dark. It was wild. I just stood for 15 minutes or so, soaking it in.
Temperate, foggy March nights hinting at the approach of Spring have always meant something to me. More than any time of year, I experience a palpable sense of yearning, of melancholy and potential, mingled in the weather. I smell that heavy, wet air; I see prismatic halos around the moon and street lights; I feel those conditions and I am instantly again a lonely teenager, waiting for something to change, for something big to happen to me. I no longer hope for big changes. I know the best kind of change is that which comes from little things you build and nurture over time. Still, I can't help but imagine that out there in the foggy blackness is something colossal, just drifting toward me. Even if I don't believe it anymore, it's still a wonderful dream to dream on a misty night.