Saturday, January 23, 2016

You Might Get Hungry

But how many dreams do we hold on to?
—Nada Surf

In the morning, before coffee but after blinking, it all seems a blur. The process of waking feels suspiciously like the process of aging. Not slow and methodical, according to some predetermined plan, but uncontrollably fast and chaotic. Less an on-off switch than a dimmer broken beyond repair, behaving unpredictably, giving either too much light or not enough.

Eventually it passes and you get on with the day, and the life, and this goes on for quite a while. Who knows how long. Maybe you get married and have kids, or you eat a sandwich. Maybe you have a dog and write a book.

Maybe you pause to watch the sun try and creep out from behind magenta clouds. Maybe you ignore the sun and the clouds, stay focused on whatever it was you were trying to stay focused on. It helps if you can remember that part.

Is it the quantity that matters, or the quality? A plane flies overhead and you read words. They don't seem right, but there's no time to worry about that now. There will be other words to read, other planes to watch.

Fast and chaotic. Broken dimmer switch. Everything a little bit off, not quite the way you'd like it.

Fast-forward an average life expectancy of years, give or take your magic number, your unknowable variable, and there you have it. What did you hold on to? Was it good? Would you hold on to it again?

Such meddlesome thoughts are why, while teetering on the precipice of introspection, some prefer to eat a sandwich. Just make sure it's the one you want. You might get hungry on the way down, or if you're one of those people, on the way up.

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