It’s complicated, she said, her hair twisting about her face in the summer breeze.
The nature of it all.
Like I said, it’s complicated.
He sank back into his Adirondack chair and sighed loudly. The breeze had picked up. He watched the miniature waves crash against the side of the swimming pool.
I think she continued that often we intentionally avoid the very path we ought to go down, because if we went down it, it would be uncomfortable. Truth is, I’m tired of being comfortable, I guess. Feeling uneasy is better, I imagine, than feeling anything at all. That make any sense? She looked up, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hands.
Yeah he said. He was still looking at the waves.
I mean this is it, you know? I’ll never understand it- everyone knows you only get one chance at living, but no one seems to live. Every now and then a movie or song or something will remind us of the fact, and for a week we’ll pretend to give a damn about something more important than where we’re going to eat for lunch. It’s bullshit, and I’m tired of it. Every day should be New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Day- you know, when everybody promises to do better. Why is that only once a year? Yeah, we almost always fail, but what’s the sense in only really trying once a year. Maybe if we tried at trying more, we’d actually achieve something.
He didn’t have an answer to that, but it didn’t matter.
And here’s the other thing she said. We all know what we’re supposed to do. There’s something in all of our hearts- a gift, a talent, a blessing, a desire- call it what you will, it’s the same thing. It’s the thing you most wish to do. It’s the thing that we’re most afraid of failing at, because what’s the point of living if you ultimately fail at the thing you most want to do? But at the same time, it’s the thing that makes us feel most complete when we’re doing it. It can be anything- tennis, painting, singing, making chairs– she stood up, now, twirling- dancing. Anything in the world.
I think that’s right he said.
Of course it’s right she said, putting her hands on her hips unceremoniously. And the other thing is this- if we don’t do what it is only we can do, it will never be done. Ever.
Forever’s a long time he thought to himself. After a while in the silence, he grew uncomfortable and all he could think to say was so what do we do now?
Her hands slid off her hips and she sank back down into her lounger. Her hair fell around her, this time undisturbed by any breeze. A lone bird chirped in the distance two, then three times, before everything fell silent again.
I don’t know she said, her voice pouting. Like I said, it’s complicated.