The U.N. is in session, the East Side of Manhattan is packed and rerouted and swarming with official cars, angry cabs, rushing pedestrians, and the usual delivery trucks blocking what few lanes remain open. So I choose to drive my little grey Toyota right into the thick of it, in the middle of rush hour, to take Hedgehog to a dentist appointment that could better have been reached by subway.
Me? I guess I'm just a thrill-seeker, more now even than I was at 20. At 39 years old, I have two outlets left for this feeling that pulls me outward: driving, and writing. The writing is good, I can be anywhere and anyone I want to be on the page. But facing Manhattan down is a whole other happiness and freedom. The streets and highways of midtown are my special place. All around me is chaos, but at the wheel I'm in total control. I mean total. I'm weaving to avoid the traffic cops and cones, fearlessly merging, honking at the guy who thrusts his baby carriage in front of me, the cab that cuts me off. I'm safe, of course, but bold in a way I would never have to be, just walking down the street pushing my shopping cart full of dinner groceries. For just a few minutes there, today, I owned Second Avenue between 57th and 34th.
What a feeling.