Friday, May 14, 2010

2004 Train Trip – Part 10 – 11/1/04


We went to the post office to mail off some post cards, then to meet my parents for a walk in Central Park, to 5th avenue and down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue and 50th Street.  Walking through Central Park with my parents was really nice.  My dad saw a hot dog vendor and got himself a hot dog before any of us knew what was happening; typical native New Yorker.  The day was perfect for walking.  A little cool and visually crisp everywhere.  We walked down 5th Avenue and saw all of those expensive places on the East side of the park, and we saw where the zoo was located, although I don’t think it happened to be open that day.  As we passed the bottom corner of that park, by 5th Avenue, and that big, fancy hotel, my parents told Brenda and I a story of how they had their wedding reception in the upper ballroom of that hotel.  It sounded so classy!

We walked over to Rockefeller Center to see people ice-skating. My parents would be staying an extra day or two and then flying back to LA., while Brenda would be leaving this same day on the train to head West onto new adventures.

We said goodbye to my parents.  I remember that as we parted ways and Brenda and I had to cross a big street to make a light, and I looked back to see my dad kind of confused, and my mom with her arm around him, correcting his path to continue down the sidewalk.  This made me sad at that moment. For even though none of us was to know yet that he was about to start into Alzheimer’s, my melancholy had something to do with being aware that he would just as well have wanted to spend the whole day with Brenda and I and was sad to see us go.  I also saw him now as an older, frailer man visiting his own native city that he knew so well, but now being more vulnerable in it than I had ever seen him before.

I bought a sweatshirt for Brenda and then we went back to my aunt’s apartment to pack up. My aunt was getting nervous because she was aware that the cab at that hour would take a while to get back down to the train station.  She was right.  We just made it in the nick of time, literally.  As soon as we got on the train, it started out of the station.

We to into our compartment and had dinner with a guy who wouldn’t talk at all.  It was the strangest thing.  A lanky, probably late 30’s guy, who just wouldn’t say a word.  It started to irritate me until I thought to myself that it was just probably his way, and had nothing to do with us.

Our compartment on the train had television and movies.  We watched a Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller movie that was terrible, and then a couple of episodes of, “That’s What I Like About You,” and a few cartoons.