With just three weeks to go until Labor Day, I am today taking my first summer Friday. And it appears, at least for now, that I have lucked out weather-wise.
Whiskey nosed me awake around 6:05 but I was able to push her off for about half an hour and stay in bed until almost 7AM. Then we had our breakfast and headed out to Central Park for some fresh air and exercise.
The weather was warm, but not too warm. The humidity, especially for August was low. And the sky was high and clear and blue. In short, a perfect day to not work
Central Park, I'll admit, always makes me nostalgic. When I was a little boy--knee-high to a cockroach, my old man would drop me and my brother off on the schist that protrudes from the earth around 65th Street. We would, like Sir Edmund Hillary, scamper and play and slide and scrape our knees and elbows while my father smoked his cigars and read his paper on a nearby bench.
Later on, we would walk through the rickety old zoo and see real lions, so unlike the granite ones that stand sentinel in front of the New York Public Library, just 20 blocks south.
When I was an older boy, my school team would pile out of our school bus and, wearing spikes and making sparks on the cobblestones that showed through the worn asphalt on Central Park West, run to the park to play a game of ball amid the junkies and the pushers who hung in the outfield.
I remember my last at bat in Central Park, on a cold May day in 1975, getting a pitch in on my hands and hitting it to right for an opposite-field double that won us a game.
Today, this morning, the park was all about people and their dogs. Whiskey met a little hound called Rex and ran in broad circles on Cedar Hill until she was tuckered out. Then we walked some hundreds of yards to Stuyvesant Oval and did a loop, playing with George, and Sunshine, and Zanzibar.
Her tongue as long as a porn-star's, we headed home. Both of us tired and looking forward to the day.
The day off.