You Can’t Go Home Again

I was walking alone in the Norman J. Levy Park & Preserve, which is a great adaptation of what was once a huge garbage dump. There are trails, great views, constant uphill walking—schlogging for me—as other folks are happily jogging. Families come here for fresh air, sunshine, and time away from electronic devices.

Although Levy Park & Preserve isn’t ranked among the best birding spots in Nassau County, one can see raptors, songbirds and water fowl…which is why we were there with the birding club.

I was separated from the members of the South Shore Audubon Society. This was our Sunday walk. I don’t know what happened to the group of at least 30 people. The party splintered and then vanished like magic. I had been walking with my wife, the Beautiful AP, and our friend Linda (a great Yankee fan!).

I turned onto a solitary path, a trail leading back to the parking lot. My walk was about two miles by this point and I was seeing some beautiful birds. I was checking out this tiny blue bird, light-bluish grey underbelly, dark blue stripes on his wings, which were blue as well. His beak….

Arrrrrrggggggggh! came the kid’s high-pitched scream. I want to go back! I want to go back! I want to go back! I want to go back to the parking lot! Arrrrrrggggggggh! Arrrrrrggggggggh! Arrrrrrggggggggh!

The blue bird (meaning the bird of blue; my chance to identify it was cut short) flew into the thickets and I lost sight of it. Other songbirds made a hasty retreat.

Arrrrrrggggggggh! Arrrrrrggggggggh! I want to go back! I want to go back! Arrrrrrggggggggh!

Songbirds are skittish and they had all fled the scene, the loud scene made by this little…brat.

Arrrrrrggggggggh! Arrrrrrggggggggh! I want to go back! I want to go back! Arrrrrrggggggggh!

To this point it had been a leisurely walk with singing songbirds and even a raptor or two.

I want to go back! I want to go back! Arrrrrrggggggggh!

The damn kid. That damn, stinking kid.

I know I should state here that I really, really like children. The problem is, I don’t. I like my two grandkids and my niece’s the three little kids, but that is about it. Except for my own kids and those five above, the rest I just find irritating. Three-year-olds (give or take some months) are obnoxious and insistent, as was this kid repetitively howling that he wanted to go back to the parking lot.

I want to go back! I want to go back!

There were steep hills in this park and no fences to stop a kid from going over the edge, where a fall of 30 or more feet would silence him if his put-upon daddy just gave him a little nudge…just like that. A tiny, almost imperceptible, nudge. The quietude and the songbirds would return. “No officer, I didn’t see anything. The kid probably pitched over the edge on his own. This park should really have fences to prevent lovable little children from falling to their silence…I mean, deaths.”

Arrrrrrggggggggh! Arrrrrrggggggggh! I want to go back! I want to go back to the parking lot! Arrrrrrggggggggh!

Just before you get to the parking lot on this path, you pass a pen with all manner of goats. The apathetic goats looked at the screamer, unconcerned and unaffected. However, had they been released from their pen, would they have gored the little tyke? One could only fantasize.

And then the parking lot appeared. But The Stinking Kid Didn’t Shut Up. He howled a new refrain: I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to go home!

I wanted to share one of life’s truths, brilliantly captured by Thomas Wolfe; but such an insight would have been lost on a screaming mini-monster and his frazzled dad.

You can’t go home again.

Frank’s books are available on Amazon.com, kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books, and at bookstores.

4 thoughts on “You Can’t Go Home Again”

  1. I feel your pain Frank…the screamers in the restaurants (great for digestion), in the grocery store (I shop ALONE without kids for a reason), and even screaming drunk adults in the casino (really enhances the casino experience). The birds have the right idea…just vacate the area!

  2. No escaping the bane of human annoyance when we are packed like sardines in this area of Long Island sadly!
    What I find most appalling is people ignoring signs, barriers etc that are desperately trying to protect something from Us!
    Yesterday while observing an owl’s nest at a local park (which was teeming with screaming kids and dogs- the dogs were better behaved) a woman crossed the barrier to get a closer look and picture. My mother was with me and voiced her annoyance to no avail. I guess some people are just more special than others!
    Go back to Levy on a school day! It’s worth it!

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