It felt like I worked two full-time jobs yesterday. That’s not necessarily hard from an accumulated hours point of view, the difficulty was due more to the intensity of each different day. The production line kept moving relentlessly and no matter where I was there was stuff from the other place hanging over my head.
I suppose I shouldn’t admit it or someone somewhere will get ahold of it and accuse me of being old, but I get tired at the end of days like these. I start early and I go hard, and so when the end of another day in advertising collapses around me, I usually head for the nearest taxi cab, as opposed to the subway or a bus.
I’m not being lazy. It’s just that I live nearly a mile from the subway and my office is almost as far, and I simply don’t have the time or the inclination for the trek.
Last night it seemed New York was celebrating Chaos Week, not Advertising Week. Bikes were streaming in and out of Park Avenue traffic like hornets on a bender. And nearly every black-car driver, or cabbie, was only paying half attention, the other half was dedicated to a screaming relative in Uttar Pradesh.
We just missed a biker at 24th, and another barked at 27th, alerting my driver that he, the biker, had decided to run the light ahead of the crosstown traffic which was gridlocked. He just missed hitting my cab, blaming that, of course, on the cab’s very existence.
Add to all that the persistent blare of an approaching squadron of firetrucks and you have a general idea of the mayhem. It was Pearl Harbor at half past seven on December 7th, 1941.
Traffic began to thin out as we passed under what today we call the Met Life Building. It will always be the Pan Am Building to me. It was built as such and my old man worked there for the first 15 years or so as its life. For me changing the name of an icon will never take. It’s like changing the Eiffel Tower to the Louis Vuitton Spire or appending a bank’s corporate moniker onto Yankee Stadium.
I’d no more call my wife, Laura, “Wendy” than I’d call the Pan Am Building the Met Life Building. Call me old, and too fixed in my ways. As the kids like to say, that’s how I roll.
Speaking of rolling, we rolled up the East Side, and over to my isolated neck of my Manhattan woods. Things are calmer in my redoubt. The yellow stream of bumper cars a bit more mannerly. There was even a bus once that used a turn signal. I kid you not.
Another day, a long one, notches on my freelance belt.
I’ve made it home.