“I have always intended to live forever; but not until now, to live now.”
– Galway Kinnell
From time to time, I find myself thinking about the wrong things. Allow me to illustrate.
|What I’m doing||What I’m thinking about|
|Eating breakfast||Brushing my teeth|
And on and on until the day is done, until I find myself drifting off to sleep, having missed large chunks of the day. In the morning, I wake up poised to do it again until I get a grip, or am called to a full stop by the Universe. Just such a thing happened the other day.
Did I mention yet that my mother drives a spaceship? It’s one of those little, slick cars that have people drooling a half a block away. It is white, and shiny- so low to the ground you have to do a series of stretches before entering, because you’ll be posed in a full squat for the duration of the ride. It’s full of buttons, and secret hatches, and is pure sunroof from front to back. And because it is so attractive, and fast, and because once I’d driven it for the first time, it made my own car feel like a piece of crap, I borrow it whenever I can.
So my sister and I jump into the spaceship, and cruise to a fancy restaurant, forgetting that I’ve rented a practical, roomy red car to get around while visiting my mother. We ate, and talked, and laughed and lost ourselves in a conversation filled with possibilities.
After supper in the parking lot, I heard the chime that let us know that the car was unlocked, and reached for the handle of the nearest roomy red car, still listening to my sister’s story. I opened the door, had one leg in the passenger seat, looked down before I climbed inside, and saw a shiny new iphone on the seat. Not having an iphone, I looked at my sister over the roof of the car to tell her that someone had left a phone inside.
I saw her moving her lips, eyes bugged out. She was mouthing, “THIS ISN’T OUR CAR…”
“What?” I said aloud.
“THIS ISN’T OUR CAR…” Her eyes were frantically searching for the security guard to recognize that we, who’d driven up in a spaceship, had decided to leave in someone else’s Family Truckster. She was standing, frozen, her hand holding our mother’s keys aloft. Spaceship keys. With the giant spaceship insignia emblazoned in the center of the remote. The car I had just broken into had knobs to press to lock the doors, which someone had forgotten to press… and those long crank things to get the windows down. What?
I looked down at the red practicality of said truckster, and slowly backed away, mortified to find myself stealing, while the spaceship shone at me over my sister’s shoulder.
All I’m saying is that sometimes it is best to slow down. To enjoy the present moment without planning for the future, or mulling over the past. And in the process, stay out of jail.