New Memories.

I was feeling inspired by this blog post. The summer air was very warm with the temperature hovering around 80 degrees, even though it was almost 9:30 on a steamy July night. Lightning danced across the sky in panoramic 360 degree splendor. The flashes gave a hint to the storms that would surely be arriving in the middle of the night.

Earl and I had just finished up a wonderful meal with my family at a restaurant not too far from my grandparents’ old house. I’m in the driver’s seat of my 21st century idea of a “muscle car”, my 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. The windows are down, the sunroof is open, Earl is in the passenger seat and his hand is resting on my right leg, it’s natural spot whenever we travel.

The green sign shines brightly along the Thruway, letting us know that we have a bit of a ride ahead of us as it proclaims “Utica 42 / Albany 128 / New York 276”. The windows are down and the summer winds fill the car as we move at around a tame 70 MPH. We could easily go faster, but then the moment would seem rushed. The lights of airliners landing at Syracuse Airport are neatly spaced apart, a couple thousand feet up and parallel to the roadway. I’m still fascinated by their orchestrated landing as the pilots simply listen to the instructions of an air traffic controller that only knows them as a sound in his earpiece and a blip on a radar screen. Lightning continues to dance around the sky, but Mother Nature can’t keep up as we continue the journey home, we eventually win the race this time.

Earl stares at the roadway ahead, somewhat lost in thought, undoubtedly thinking about work and what the rest of the week entails. Even after a decade I live in awe and completely amazed by this man. I amuse myself secretly by making gestures with my left hand down by my left leg. I smile slightly knowing I’m making various shapes with my fingers that can’t be seen as I enjoy the darkness that has engulfed the car. It’s a little game I’ve always played since I was a small child and will probably play until it’s time for me to leave this life.

“One Of These Nights” by the Eagles blares from the car speakers courtesy of a CD burned just for an occasion such as tonight; a CD inspired by similar rides I had as a passenger as a child; a CD saved for moments such as these. “One Of These Nights”, a classic song with a musical quality rarely found in today’s pop music world.

A wonderful meal. A lot of laughs. A loving family. The love of my life.

The perfect night.

Jumpy.

A residential building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side blew up this morning around 9 a.m. The White House has been quick to tell everyone that this is not terrorism related. As of right now they’re saying it could have been a gas leak or something, not that that makes it all better or anything.

I don’t think I would do well living in the Big Apple these days. There’s too many variables; tunnels, subways, honking cars, skyscrapers, ships, boats, planes, automobiles; I’d have way too much to worry about. We live over three hours away near a city that has little to entice a terrorist organization and I’m jumpy enough with low flying airplanes, contrails that do U-turns and the like. I’d be worried about the couple of million people around me if I lived in New York.

When the fire trucks head through downtown, I wonder if they’re headed for the tallest building in the county, which clocks in at 16 stories. After hearing the news stories about how big of a target the local nuclear power plants are, I wonder about the planes I see flying over Lake Ontario. Right after 9/11 the local news agencies did everything short of marking a map with “Aim Here”. I’m afraid for our own stupidity.

We live near a former Air Force Base that has been converted to a “Technology Park”. One of the companies that moved in services various shapes and sizes of airliners. When a huge 747 looms over our house on approach for servicing (on one of the few runways long enough to accomodate a shuttle landing, by the way), I remind Earl that the plane flying over the house “is going in for repairs.” I’m happy when a wing doesn’t fall off.

I don’t strive to sound like a paranoid freak, especially since I believe what will happen, will happen, but with all the unrest in the world it’s hard to be totally at ease. There are too many crazy people running around. There are too many crazy people in positions of power. And I just have this uneasy feeling jumping around in the back of my head.

I hope it’s all for nothing.