It’s a Tuesday night and I’m finally almost over being tired. At least I think I am. How is that for a definitive statement? It comes from the fact that I’m not very good at staying up late anymore. Maybe I never was but at least when I was younger I recovered more quickly. I generally sleep from about eleven thirty at night to about six thirty in the morning. Plus I’m a morning person. That means I’m up at the same time (sometimes a little earlier much to my annoyance) even if I go to bed late. This past Saturday I didn’t fall asleep until after two in the morning which means I only got four and a half hours of sleep.

It doesn’t usually hit me hard the next day though. On Sunday I got some things done even though I had to take a nap in the afternoon. It was Monday that I couldn’t concentrate. I find that very frustrating. I like to get things done. I usually have very good powers of concentration. I can move in and out of focus on stuff with relative ease which allows me to keep a few balls in the air. Not getting enough sleep makes all these balls come crashing down. I pace, I sit down, I pace some more, and then I sit some more. I get nothing done and it drives me crazy. That’s why I usually like to get to bed at the same time every night.

So where was I? I was out having fun. I drove into Brooklyn for a friend’s birthday. We hung out on his rooftop that has a spectacular view of NYC, ate some food, and had a good time in the company of good friends. It’s how every day should be.

Driving in New York City can be quite the chore. There is a lot of traffic. My trip down to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon traffic was, thankfully, uneventful but it did take me about an hour and forty-five minutes to make the forty five mile trip. That’s how much traffic there is in NYC. That and there were two bridges involved in getting to Brooklyn. They’re never as fast as highways.

Driving home was a bit more of an adventure. I dropped a friend off at his apartment in nearby Brooklyn and then had to turn around and try to find the Brooklyn Bridge. That was a lot trickier than I thought it would be. I had another friend with me in the car who was using her phone and its GPS and maps to navigate but the old saying “The map is not the territory” came into play. I think it was Flatbush Avenue that we were on and we were looking to make a left onto Atlantic Avenue but no such left was allowed. Neither were any other lefts for quite a while. And the roads were as full of traffic as you’d expect. Which is a lot of traffic. This part of downtown Brooklyn in mostly highway traffic with little pedestrian traffic. A ton of traffic lights too.

Eventually we made it onto the bridge but not before driving on a road that really made us nervous for a moment. I made a right turn onto the bridge entrance ramp and suddenly there were no cars around us. No street lights either. Just concrete barriers and barrel cones. It is really strange to go from driving in crowded traffic to no one. I was really questioning if we somehow made a wrong turn. But then were joined other cars on the bridge and all was okay.

After getting off the bridge we had to drive through lower Manhattan. That wasn’t too hard since it’s difficult to get lost in Manhattan. But we did end up somehow going north when we wanted west. A couple of times. It was easy enough to make a left though. Manhattan is much easier than Brooklyn.

As we drove through the sometimes large and sometimes remarkably small Manhattan streets I had the realization that driving through Manhattan was a completely different experience than walking through it. Usually I’m on foot when I’m in NYC. I take the train in when I go down there to take my street photos and I walk all around. When I’m on foot I’m part of the crowd. We all walk the streets together. Sure there are cars all around us but they are separate. They’re not part of the crowd. Besides knowing that I have to watch for traffic when I cross the street and don’t trust the cars to always do what they’re supposed to I mostly ignore them.

When I was in the car driving I couldn’t ignore anything. There were all sorts of things I had to look out for. Other cars, traffic lights, people on bicycles (despite it being midnight), and lots of pedestrians were all sharing the road with me. I felt like I was part of some giant machine. A vast machine with giant buildings, bright lights, and lots of moving parts. On foot I felt part of a crowd but in the car there was no crowd. There was the machine.

That is probably among the reasons that it took me an hour and a half or so to fall asleep that night. To play my part in the machine correctly I really had to pay attention. On foot I can wander, meander, and do as I pleased as long as I pay attention at the cross walks. I’d watch out for cars and bikes there. When driving I have to always pay attention. There is no other way. The running of the whole machine depends on it.

So I’m writing this late Tuesday night just before I go to bed. I almost never work this late but it took me until this afternoon to be able to concentrate on anything. I managed to get a street photo done despite crashing hard in the middle of it. I sat down for a minute before dinner and found myself drifting off to sleep. It wasn’t for long and wasn’t refreshing but I managed to get a second wind after dinner. Then ten thirty rolled around and I decided to write this. Now it’s time to see if I can get some sleep. G’night all.