Monday, October 25, 2010

a curious chapter of (non) disasters

Today could have been so different - thank goodness it wasn't ... I woke up with the very, very strong feeling that the lecture that I was due to give this evening in New York - to the Friends of the American Museum in Britain - really wouldn't quite work - it was too academic, not fun enough.   So that meant re-writing talk, and collaging together a power point.   And then, when I was heading off to campus to teach - with precious little spare time - I read on line of the derailment outside of Penn Station.   Nightmare.   Trains running an hour late?  So I apologized, explained, ducked out of class early - promised home-baked cookies on Wednesday - what else, other than graded papers, can I do to make up to them? - and fled at top speed to the railroad station.   If the image above looks gloomy, that's because I had no idea whether or not the rails would ever have a train on them, a storm was forecast, although I didn't realize until somewhere like Metuchen that somehow, in my rush to the station, I'd dropped my Very Expensive Raincoat.   You'd have thought I'd have noticed earlier?

But the train arrived on time, the lecture was pitched just right - I think - and then, o miracle - walking back - at 11.20 at night - there on the grassy bank on the side of George Street, lying limply, like a big dead fruitbat, was my raincoat.   Thank you, o thank you, to the person who put it there, to all the people who didn't steal it, and to all the forces that meant that today didn't implode, as it so nearly could have done, into all kinds of disaster.

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