Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It Gets Late Awfully Early Around Here

When Yogi Berra said it, he was referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at New York Stadium. When you live in New York City, that is exactly what happens.

The other night, after getting back to Tokii's apartment and preparing my customary microwaveable dinner at 10 p.m. yet again, I had to ask, "Is it just me? Or does midnight come really fast in New York?"

Tokii stopped what she was doing and looked up inquisitively, then replied, "Yea. Yea, it does."

"I know right," I said. "In North Carolina, I was eating dinner by 7, passing out in front of the TV by 8, and crawling into my bed by 10. Up here, I am getting ready to eat at 10:30."

I thought about the other night when I stayed out with friends the latest I have ever stayed out in New York since I moved here. By the time I got back to the Bronx it was 4 a.m. I called Terrence on my cell phone when I got off the train so that I would have someone to hear me scream if anything bad happened to me during the five-minute walk to the apartment. As I approached the building, Terrence voice was skeptical over the line, "Are those kids?"

"Yea," I said. There were about half a dozen 10-ish year olds squealing and running around on the sidewalk by the main entrance as the drug dealers looked on from their stoop. As usual, one of them got the front door for me.

"It's 4 a.m.," Terrence said.

"I know," I said.

As I crossed the lobby and began walking up the stairs, several children came running down with slices of birthday cake, balloons and unwrapped presents. A child's birthday party was just ending.

Wow, I thought. These kids in the Bronx just out-partied me tonight.

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