I was in the car, coming home from work last night, when Steffie called. She wasn’t happy. She wasn’t healthy.
From her symptoms, she seemed “fluish.”
A four-day weekend was coming¹. She had already emailed her professors, telling them she wasn’t coming to class Friday. I asked if she wanted me to fetch her?
I got home, changed out of my suit (but not white shirt), washed off my makeup and headed back to the car. I was heading to Long Island at 12:15 AM.
Today was supposed to be pretty dreadful with rain in the morning and wind all day. Going last night seemed a whole lot smarter, especially when I thought about driving over the Throgs Neck Bridge in a howling gale.
A good part of the way there, I was kept company by my Cousin Michael in Southern California.
He too was on his way out, to meet some friends. I’m not sure how, but he made three wrong turns, paid two extra tolls and ended up at the wrong coffee shop before getting to his true destination – honest.
We spoke until I hit the New York State line.
I know there are lots of concerns about cellphones and cars, but this definitely made my trip go faster. I was on the hands free earpiece, so I was doing it legally.
From the time I hung up with Michael, to the campus, I listened to the BBC World Service on WNYE – where I was a radio actor in the late 60s! Their newscasts are pretty interesting, until they get into the minutiae of British sports.
Unlike American radio, where nearly everyone speaks with an Americanized accent, the BBC is a polyglot of English. When you throw in interviewees from around-the-world, speaking English as a second language, the BBC ends up sounding like random conversations on the NYC subway.
Before I continue, the last few paragraphs highlight three examples of technology shaping our lives, and improving them. My use of cellphones probably tops the list, but the Bluetooth earpiece and the BBC’s ability to cheaply send high quality audio around the world aren’t minor.
It sometimes looks as if our adoption of new technology has peaked. Don’t be fooled. This next generation of technological innovation has to do with refining what we have to replace older, less efficient, systems. New methods of media transmission is a prime example.
I arrived on campus at 2:00 AM. Maybe I’m just an innocent, but I was surprised. The campus was loaded with people as if it were 2:00 PM! Aren’t they supposed to be asleep, preparing for their classes the next morning?
Like I said, I’m probably just too innocent.
Steffie came down with an entourage. Her roommate and at least one boy were there, giving her a hand with a small suitcase and large bag of dirty laundry.
We hopped into the car and were soon speeding home… literally speeding home. I know this because Steffie lectured me on my ‘too fast’ driving.
There was little traffic, it being the middle of the night and all. Since it’s winter (despite yesterday’s 60°+ temperatures), there was little road work to worry about… and slow down for.
We were back home in Connecticut by 3:30. My car had nearly 200 miles more on the odometer than when I left the house.
You don’t want your child to be sick… especially while she’s on her own. Going to get her was a no brainer.
When she recovers, maybe we’ll just put her on the train?
¹ – I want whomever negotiated the schedule at Steffie’s school to negotiate my next contract. Didn’t they just finish a six week break?