October 8, 2012

time well spent

Memory is a tricky beast. I want to treat it like a pet, letting it warm my lap and stroking its fur on a chilly winter's night. But it often morphs into an animal that refuses to be housebroken or tamed; I can't get it to behave any differently than what comes naturally.

Some memories appear again and again. In one, I'm sitting on the kitchen island in the house in Maryland, ripping a slice of cheap white bread into chunks, rolling them into balls before shoving them in my mouth. No guilt for throwing crusts away, nor for lazing around doing nothing.

In one of her poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay writes, "I am tired, so tired / of passing pleasant places!" I don't think I've come across a sentence that's quite so true to adult existence. So this is the great epiphany (cue quarterlife crisis)—that as adults, we spend so much time doing what we think we should do, and very little time doing what we actually want. That said, I'm going to go read a book now. Goodnight—or, as my dad wrote in an email last night, "Have a sweet dream!" (Note that it's not sweet dreams, plural. I like the idea that one sweet dream is all you need...don't you?)

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