The morning routine is now a pleasure. Up early, stretch and bend the creaky limbs, hit the coffee and off to judo and karate. All last week I managed to get drunk only twice, hence there were five such mornings. And what mornings they were: stolen from summer without the oppressive heat. One crosses the park from east to west, the sun flooding the paths with light, creating long shadows to go along with the tall maples and oaks. It’s early, the noise level is nil and one can hear the birds. The leaves reveal autumn’s first golden blush, and I cross over ponds, small hills, groves and spongy earth speckled with papery maple leaves. At present there is green everywhere, and red maples are starting to live up to their name, but the occasional discarded rubbish from the evening before reminds me that this is not Arcadia, but Noo Yawk, the city that is known for never going to sleep. Except for downtown, but more of that later.
On the way to the judo club I pass mostly women, their men already down on Wall Street trying to keep up. Jewish women with tortured countenances jog as if they’re in terrible pain. Running and Jewish motherhood do not together go. You can tell they only do it so they can shop until they drop at Bloomingdale’s later in the day. Hatchet-faced Wasp ladies looking as if they haven’t had a bowel movement in weeks come next. They stride gracefully through the morning mist, imperious and unfriendly. Fat Hispanics crowd me off the narrow paths pushing precious little crybabies’ prams, while obese black mamas, covered in bling and being very loud, have me wondering what they’re up to this early. It’s a good female mix with the poor little Greek boy among them on his way to torture and be tortured.
For the next hour or two I hear nothing about the Occupy Wall Street movement while Ali, Teimoc, Mark, Brian and I take turns under the timer.