I’m sitting in my office on an unusually warm January night. Here in Mecca, it’s holding steady at sixtysomeodd degrees and our windows are open tonight. All I ever wanted in my home was a place where I could sit, read, write, listen to music and ponder ponderous things.
For the first time in the 18 months we’ve lived here, I’m able to do so. A slight breeze coming in with a hint of sea air, sitting in my easy chair, the fuzzy butthead at my feet, Mahalia Jackson funneled through a Fisher Studio Standard receiver to my Koss stereophones, writing these very words.
This may also be the last time I will be able to do this.
My office, in a few short months, will be taken over by babies. The books are boxed up, the shelving empty: everything is in flux. I’m not complaining; it is probably manifestly obvious in the posts I’ve written here that I’m excited to become a father and raise children. It’s just a none-too-subtle reminder that we can strive as hard as we might to get whatever it is we think we want, only to, at best, grasp onto it for only a few moments before the moment passes, the opportunity goes, the tide of life goes out and what’s left is a radically different situation.
So, on this one perfect night following a decidedly imperfect day, I’m doing what I want. It’s not spectacular, it’s not even particularly memorable. It’s me, in a quiet house, with my resting pup keeping my feet warm, listening to classic gospel and writing this little bit of nonsense.
In a few months, when the twins are here and discontented with their accommodations, I’ll remember that one night when everything was just perfect.
And I’ll realize that this night will never match the perfection of an innocent little life. (Or two, as the case may be.) Indeed, this night wasn’t perfect at all. All it was was all I wanted: vanity, a chasing after wind.
It’s a good night. Better nights will come.