The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

That’s All I Want

I live in the heart, the center, if you will, of one of the country’s largest cities, Philadelphia. It’s usually noisy here. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, when it’s very cloudy and snowing, and my neighbors aren’t playing, at full blast, their intolerable dance music, and my ridiculously expensive heating units aren’t cycling, it’s strangely and peacefully, almost mysteriously, quiet. And I like it that way.

I have two dreams, both centering on vacations. No surprise that, since I haven’t had a vacation in three years. And even that last vacation, along with the preceding vacation one year earlier, combined “business” with “pleasure.” I haven’t had a vacation vacation in nearly five years.

So to what do I look forward? Two things, two things that, to me, sound like heaven.

First, a transatlantic cruise. I know, there normally are no stops on such cruises. And that is more than fine with me. I want to sit on a comfortable chair on a wooden deck with a stack of books, a notebook and pen, a bottle of white wine, and a couple of packs of cigarettes, and see nothing but ocean for days on end. I don’t even have to talk with anyone. The silence is, would be, the vacation in and of itself.

Queen Mary 2

Second, a few weeks on a porch. A porch with a rocking chair and the aforementioned stack of books, notebook, pen, bottle of wine, and cigarettes. A porch that looks out on to nothing whatsoever, as if beautiful rolling hills unmarred by housing developments, strip malls, and even the errant trailer could ever properly be described as “nothing whatsoever.”

You see, I’m a man of simple tastes and few demands. All I want, really, is for the whole world to just be quiet, if only for a moment. Imagine what that would that be like. Imagine what that would sound like.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |