Are you investing in joy? Are you spending your time cultivating pain?
Young professionals sitting at an empty bar on a dead Tuesday night
Taylor-Swift blonde: “This one time, I was flying home to Pittsburgh, from the UAE, and I came home for my friend’s party, and then I went home, took a nap, and then went to New York the next morning, at, like, 5 a.m. I was home for, like, eleven hours.”
Bro: “Yeah, I see what you’re saying.”
Taylor-Swift blonde: “So, like, what I’m saying is, are you going to make it happen? Are you going to do it? Or are you going to Talk about ‘what you’re gonna do’?”
“Like, my friend Shannon–she has so many things she wants to do…”
“Well, I guess, like, I have friends who, like, have things they wanna do…”
When I was little, I learned how to fly. It was easier than you would think.
I was walking home from school one day, and it started to rain.
It was really pouring. Cats and dogs.
The storm started to really pick up. I had trouble even walking.
And then, the wind.
My God, the wind…
The wind caught my jacket, and lifted me up. Right off my feet.
I forgot about the rain.
I forgot about everything.
The ground was beneath me, and I couldn’t steady myself—couldn’t figure out which way was up. I was flying through the air, and all I could think about was the last time the wind was this strong. Had I ever been lifted up like this before? By the wind? I felt like I was falling upward.
I moved my arms rapidly, seemingly without effect. My feet were swinging in every direction. Rain was stinging my face, but it felt like it was coming from everywhere. Then I was face-down, and I twisted and turned my body until I saw the sidewalk under me, and I panicked. I flattened out, but in the air. I closed my eyes and winced, thinking about how hard I would hit the ground. When I opened my eyes a second later, the sidewalk was far beneath me. I was somehow moving away from it.
I was moving up. Into the sky.
I was flying.
Nothing was ever the same again.
“I got an idea for a story about stories,” rasped the shape at the end of the bar.
Nobody let him in, and the dark around him was thicker than what I could figure.
He told me he had been watching me for a long time.
All I saw were his teeth as he drank from a mug that never emptied.
He said, “We’re going to see some strange things.”
For years, each of us built, but none of us ever saw how what we made
all came from the same material, or how what we forged wove together to
form parts of an old story–one that we could only tell together.
We circled each other in The Vast.