Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Before The Gates

It's Friday afternoon, Moon has planned for weeks now to drive home this weekend to see Central Park festooned in saffron, and indeed his plan has outlasted his last romantic interest, who was slated to share his sojourn. Pity. Moon also has some family business to attend to, which provides an added incentive.

These incentives, however, bump up against a powerful disincentive: Moon's incipient cold or -- godhelphim -- the flu.

Granted, Moon feels pretty energized right now, but there are three reasons to suspect a sudden surge of energe:

1. Coffee.

2. Moon just got something done very efficiently and just under deadline (urgency necessitated, he notes, due to his profound lack of efficiency over the past several days), which comes with relief and attendant satisfaction.

3. To clear Moon's lungs, he's basically on speed, more or less, from which he will sooner or later crash, even if he keeps up with regular doses.

Days like today are long; today will be far longer, however, if one ends it by driving 390 miles from Pittsburgh to NJ starting at 7PM or so).

So the question becomes: is it worth it. The family situation surely warrants some consideration, but that came up after The Gates plan took shape, and isn't entirely critical. I've been excited about The Gates since I first read about them a few years ago. Excited about joining the Central Park throngs to observe and photograph and be mesmerized by twenty-some-odd miles of saffron soldiers stalking their way through the snow into the woods, over the next hill, at once ostentatiously on parade and on a mission intent.

The scale of it awes even in imagination: 7,500 gates, many of them twelve or fourteen feet tall, or something like that.

And how often will one find a Christo project driving distance away. The rumor is that his next installation will involve covering several miles of a (not the Colorado river with silvery material set high enough to prevent kayaking and such beneath it. It sounds pretty near, but Moon's about as likely to fly to Colorado just to see that as he is to fly to Thailand just to get a plate of pad thai.

This is different. A convergence of interests. And if he's shivering and weak and coughing and to all appearances miserable tomorrow, it will be a fundamental deception -- for he'll be in The Park, in The City, beneath and among The Gates.

And there are worse things.

Look for another post, "After The Gates," as soon as tomorrow evening, and not later than Monday.


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