One Step At A Time

The way out of here is down this runway.

When I drive Janet on it, I always think of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and how great if she could get going fast enough to fly. I drive it because the bus stop into town is on the other side of the brick building on the horizon, and even though it isn’t that far, I detest any route on foot where I can see the end from the beginning. I feel so bored, I just want to lie down. Like I did when forced to play softball in junior high, in the outfield.

So, when the time finally came, I did the hours long ordeal I was dreading: getting fixed up for a job interview in Janet, and the campground bathrooms. Then breaking camp, going to the visitor center, finding the bus stop, catching the bus into Flatbush, finding the subway, taking the subway into Manhattan, to the Upper West Side. Where I was offered the job, a very humble one, in about ten minutes.

It pays terribly, but will do for the amount of rent I’m paying. I can start next week, if I’m ready. Then I really will be living in New York City, independently, and under my own auspices. Everything I said made perfect sense to my new boss. That, and being in Manhattan, gave me so much happiness. And being here in the farthest reaches of Brooklyn has allowed me to hunker down and get back to my studies, with the few heavy books I had stowed in Janet. This seems a better way to take off. I remember the bad dream I had after I arrived in Portland with big aspirations and plans: we were watching a jet going too slowly to stay airborne, and I said to someone with painful horror, ‘That thing is going to crash.’ Yes, indeed.

But it has gotten windy and cold. I awoke early one morning and folded up the bed and closed the pop top, and started up Janet’s engine until it was toasty warm. It is good to have it within my power to have warmth. I am understanding the overkill of that primal urge for power now, in all the big machines and loud things that some men seem to love. With the unethical slumlady in Harlem, we did not have the power to turn on the heat. It was brutal.

I have a routine, and even a tiny social life here with the other RV folk and campground workers. Walking back from doing the dishes at night, I’ve seen the moon waxing next to orange Mars, so bright the edge of the dark part was visible. And one evening, a big campfire some true stalwarts in tents had blazing. And of course, the ever-lit Hangar B.


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