Missing Time

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I’ll miss the trees. I won’t miss the hot son on the back of a navy blazer.

I’ll miss the cups of tea in the morning. I won’t miss the cups of coffee at night.

I’ll miss watching Bill Mott watch his horses. I won’t miss the trainers who don’t know their horses.

I’ll miss Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. I won’t miss my state of mind when I don’t have a column idea.

I’ll miss Ramon Dominguez looking to the heavens as he walks into the winner’s circle. I won’t miss trying to walk through the Travers crowd as Rafael Bejarano brushes me off like pollen from a pine tree.

I’ll miss the dead heats. I won’t miss the tough beats.

I’ll miss the dogs who bark. I won’t miss the dogs who owe us money.

I’ll miss Broadway. I won’t miss the bagpiper on Broadway.

I’ll miss the mansions. I won’t miss the monstrosities.

I’ll miss my house on Caroline Street. I won’t miss getting out of my car every night to open the gate at my house on Caroline.

I’ll miss clocking horses with Bryan Walls. I won’t miss clocking hours late into the night.

I’ll miss analyzing races with John Panagot. I won’t miss analyzing races with knowitalls.

I’ll miss talking to the Chief. I won’t miss talking to the freeloaders.

I’ll miss Lucca Cristiano bossing me around on Fridays. I won’t miss the drunks staggering the streets on Fridays.

I’ll miss Saratoga Coffee Traders. I won’t miss Saratoga traffic.

I’ll miss handing the Special to Tom Bellhouse and Mike Balfe first thing in the morning. I won’t miss them tapping their watches when I’m late (OK, maybe a little).

I’ll miss finding the key to a good triple. I won’t miss having to use a key to go to the bathroom.

I’ll miss Lucy, Jasmine and the Morning Line Kitchen. I won’t miss the trash on the ground at the Morning Line Kitchen.

I’ll miss the creativity. I won’t miss needing to be creative.

I’ll miss the sunrises. I won’t miss the dumpsters.

I’ll miss my nephews. I won’t miss saying goodbye to my nephews.

I’ll miss going for a run. I won’t miss going for a run (because I didn’t run).

I’ll miss the feeling of a job well done when the paper comes out each morning. I won’t miss the feeling of a long way from home each morning.

I’ll miss the questions. I won’t miss asking the questions.

I’ll miss the morning banter. I won’t miss the morning siren.

I’ll miss the fans. I won’t miss the knockers.

I’ll miss the readers, like Jay and Jessica, who knock on our door to say hello. I won’t miss knocking on tackroom doors.

I’ll miss the morning smells. I won’t miss the smell of garlic wafting from fat men who ate at Chianti the night before

I’ll miss turf works. I won’t miss turf injuries.

I’ll miss the horses. I won’t miss the worry.

I’ll miss Irad Ortiz’s smile. I won’t miss the snarls.

I’ll miss moments like Emma’s Encore in the Prioress. I won’t miss moments when Divine Fortune and Left Unsaid fell at the last fence in the New York Turf Writers Cup.

I’ll miss the jump races. I won’t miss the writers who bash the jumpers.

I’ll miss Shoeshine Chico. I won’t miss wearing my loafers that need a polish every day.

I’ll miss discovering Rollingwiththetide on his way to the track. I won’t miss the sinking feeling when he got beat in the finale on Travers Day. 

I’ll miss the readers who handed me a goodbye column from 2009 and asked me to run it again. I won’t miss being asked to run free ads.

I’ll miss George and Cindy Weaver riding along like newlyweds every morning. I won’t miss the angry exercise riders who whip instead of pat.

I’ll miss meeting new friends. I won’t miss saying goodbye to old friends.

I’ll miss finishing the last line of another column and telling Joe, Coffee’s ready. I won’t miss needing another idea in the morning.