September 13, 2012

Lincoln Again

Late one night last week, so late that the dawn was only a couple of hours away, I made my way home after hanging out with friends, the bonhomie so good even at the cost of the next day. Using the subways at such a late hour is not recommended since the train service is so infrequent as to be nearly unreliable.

But down into the subway station I went for the F train and I thought I was rather lucky since one arrived as I did and on I hopped. I screwed on my ear buds and played another Lincoln audiobook, the second after Michael Burlingame's epic Abrham Lincoln: A Life. I was listening past the halfway point in Harold Holzer's Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President.

I was so immersed in the audiobook that I didn't realize that I wasn't on the F train but on the B train instead. I was at 81st street when I was supposed to get off at Lexington and 63rd. It wasn't until I got out that I sounded the depth of my error, that not only was I on the wrong train, I was on the west side of Central Park when I wanted to be on the east. I had some walking to do, and fast if I didn't want to see the sky brighten before I entered the doors of the building I lived in.

So I choked my disappointment and started walking south along the side of the great park. After I got my stride, still listening to Holzer's book, I savored New York streets on a warm summer's night, unusually clear of people since everyone else was astute enough to be in bed. As I counted off the numbered blocks, my head full of Lincoln's experience in New York, I approached a stately building that I came to know as the New-York Historical Society. And a statue stood in front of it, life sized. It was bronze. It was Lincoln! And with Holzer's and Lincoln's words ringing in my head, I felt that this night/morning wasn't so misbegotten after all.

I stopped to snap a few photos and forged onto the rest of the way with the tingle of kismet.

Posted by Dennis at September 13, 2012 9:59 PM

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