July 12, 2003

My Dinner with Bobby

I went to dinner with my old friend Bobby tonight. I had spent all day moving boxes from my old, small storage space to my new, bigger storage space. I was tired and traffic was a mess so I decided it would be nice to take the train. I wouldn't have to pay attention or worry about getting in an accident. I could just relax.

During the ride I realized I spend too much time thinking about how to get someplace and not enough time figuring out why I'm going there. I felt tired so I got a quick catnap. Dinner went fine, and me and bobby said goodnight.

"What time is the next train?"

"I didn't look. They run every hour, so in the worst case I have to wait an hour."

We said goodbye and I start walking towards the train station. As it came into view I see a train waiting at the station about to leave. It was too far to run, I'd never make it, so I just started praying: please don't be the northbound train, please don't be the northbound train. An instant later the train pulls out of the station - heading north. I had my worst case scenario.

I checked the train schedule on the platform. The next train is two hours - I had discovered an even-worse case scenario. Thus I had even more time to think about why I was going where I was. This night has gone like the rest of my life: I didn't plan ahead believing everything would work out okay only to find myself alone on the platform waiting for the train.

I read once that as you get older and look back at your life, what seemed like random, unimportant events at the time start to look like life changing moments - like critical plot elements in a story. You realize your life reads like a book written by some unseen author. Unrelated aspects of your life interact and take on new meaning. You see your whole life becoming greater than the sum of your days. Unfortunately, I don't see that yet. My life still seems a jumble of mistakes, pleasant memories, and regrets. On the bright side, that hopefully means I'm still younger than I usually feel.

Then it hits me why I am going home. To make a plan. To find inspiration. To escape my self-imposed solitude. To rediscover a love* I had so long taken for granted I sometimes forgot it was there. This is why I am going home. To prepare to write the story of the rest of my life.

* No, not an old flame. The love of my family. I guess I should fix this up somehow to make it obvious.

Posted by thom at July 12, 2003 12:40 AM
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