It takes about eight minutes to get to the train station in the morning, and they’re often my favorite eight minutes of the day. We’re up, awake, and ready to face the world. It’s time for a quick conversation about a story we’ve heard on Morning Edition, or a strategy session about the day to come. Of course, plans change, but it’s good to have a start.
“You’re having dinner with Rachel on Monday, right?” I asked her.
No, it turns out not. She’s meeting her colleague for a drink after work on Tuesday, when I work late anyway. “But how would you like…”, she began, describing a performance organized by some of her other colleagues on Monday.
I hardly ever decline an invitation to the theatre, but a friend had sent me a first-thing-in-the-morning email offering a ticket to a concert in which he’s playing. It will be the first time he’s going to be all dressed up in a theatre where he expected his wedding to take place. Although he didn’t mention it that way, I knew it would be a little strange for him to be back there.
I didn’t have to say another word. “You should be there to support him,” she said.
“And you go to support your kids,” I said.
“It’ll be odd to be in different theaters,” I started to say. “Wait, no, it won’t. It’ll be like, we own the theatre district!” We laughed, and arrived at the train station in time for a quick kiss goodbye and confirmation of our meeting time tonight.
Of course we don’t own the theatre district. Sometimes we’re very peripheral to it, and to the work done there. But it’s nice to think we can both provide support where it’s needed, even when we aren’t together. We show up. It’s what we do. For each other, and for our friends.
There won’t be Dinner at the Country House on Monday. There’ll probably be a couple of slices of pizza, purchased from different shops, and eaten on the way to different theatres. Or maybe there won’t even be time for that. Maybe dinner will be pretzels and soda after the shows. We’ll meet at Grand Central to share a train ride home, and have plenty of time to talk about our very different, very similar days.