r-daub-a-blog, February 11, 2008

Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air…

-Bruce Springsteen

He looked out over the cold Hudson, small icebergs lapping against the pier, and his eyes glazed at what they saw beyond the refineries and rest stops along the Jersey Turnpike. There, in the insipid Mid-Atlantic region of Old America, is where all the meaningful things in his life had happened in a relatively small window of time. He tried to think of those things only to find that he did not remember them all that well, and what he did remember wasn’t making much sense to him now. So much had happened and it had gone so fast that it wasn’t even a blur, just the scattered shapes of a billion piece jigsaw puzzle that would be undecipherable even if every piece fit together and not one had been lost between the couch cushions.

Yet it did not matter, at least not now. When he was younger, only a few years younger, a border that can be drawn at the birth of his son, every one of those pieces would have been accounted for and collected in a file box that he planned to break out when he was an old man; only then would he dump the pieces onto the table and attempt to put them together, a task that would occupy him until his death. Fortunately, the futility of this task had recently occurred to him, as did the realization that he was still young enough to simply let this organized mess of pieces go and enjoy the rest of his life without thinking about them. Not a decade ago, at the approach of thirty, he thought those pieces were his very existence, yet they now had so little meaning that he was able seal the file boxes and throw them into the river. Their weight sunk them right down to the muck, where they are likely to remain at least until the next ice age. Finally he could live in the now without collecting a future based on the past. ▪