That Sunday evening feeling

Canberra isn’t NYC, but Sunday evening is Sunday evening

Sunday Evening With Monday to Come, Editorial NYT (2 Apr 11).

New York is a place people come to have jobs they can love. And yet a certain wistfulness always steals over Sunday evening. You can almost feel the people out on the streets—walking dogs, strolling home from dinner, running along the river—trying to make twilight last a little longer. Monday is gathering and they can feel it.

Surely not everyone is homeward bound by dark on Sunday evening, and yet that’s where everyone seems to be headed. Perhaps this is pure projection on the part of the observer, whose thoughts have already drifted into the week ahead. But Sunday evening brings a feeling completely unlike, say, Tuesday evening. The slower pace on the sidewalks feels like reluctance. The traffic seems almost melancholy. You suspect that the dogs, out for the last walk of the night, can smell the Sunday-ness of it all.

Everywhere there are people saying goodbye. Couples parting at street corners and brownstone steps, a man helping a woman into a cab and watching as it pulls away, a flock of teenagers noisily disassembling at a subway entrance. We don’t live in the midst of one another just for these moments, but these are the moments that make living in the midst of one another feel coherent, as though the city is something we create, in collaboration, day after day. We go home, go to bed and turn out the light, knowing that Monday will come at its own speed and that we’ll wake up already racing.