Saturday, as I was crossing the Bronx on the Bruckner from West to East, I noticed a tire-eating pothole on the Expressway just as I crossed over the small drawbridge over the murky Bronx River.
I swerved to avoid it, remarking to my wife something banal, like "that's a big one." I hardly gave it anymore thought.
Witness that Sunday morning, again heading West to East, I hit the pothole with my left front tire, blowing it out.
Fortunately, when Lothar, my Croatian mechanic rebuilt my Simla 1600, he installed Continental run-flat tires. They let you go 50 miles at 50 miles per hour even if you drive a lot, as I do, through the Bronx. That let me make it up to the beach with Whiskey and back again to the city.
Coming home, I did something I had never done before. I stayed exactly at the speed limit or a couple of miles per hour below.
I threw my emergency flashers on, got the Simca up to 50 miles per and stayed in the slow lane the whole way. Rather than the usual 30 minutes it takes me to drive from the beach to my apartment, it took 45 minutes.
But I made it with no mishaps and only screaming fuck you you fucking fuck at people who cut me off fewer than three dozen times.
New York, life, when you think about it, can be like a pothole--a large tire-killing one.
The obstacles are there. No one will stop traffic for an hour, or 30 minutes and fix them with steaming hot asphalt. The pothole will continue its ravenous tire-eating career, gobbling Michelins and Pirellis and Firestones along the way.
No, this is the real world, you are own to avoid the ravages of time, tide and missing cement.
Next week, or in two weeks, when I drive once again through the Bronx to visit the beach with Whiskey, I'll know enough to avoid the left lane coming off the drawbridge on the Bruckner as I cross over the Bronx River. I'll be firmly planted in the center lane. But, I assure you, the pothole will be there, teeth bared, fangs gleaming, like Mack the Knife--Mackie Messer in Weill's version, laying in wait in the outer-borough sunlight.
It'll get you. Or not.
Either way, we find, always and inexorably, a path forward.