As I've grown old and poor in America it occurs to me that so many of the pleasures I took for granted in my younger years for one reason or another aren't available to me anymore.. I've grown too old, or too poor or too ugly or too out of shape or too reclusive and one by one they've all fallen by the wayside. In response I've learned to appreciate and savor even the smallest moments of pleasure that I stumble upon as I go about my day. Today for example. Today is one of those damp, chill winter bastards that go right through your clothes like the icy hands of a stranger copping a feel in a packed subway car.. You cant even dress thick enough to keep it out. At least that's how it seemed as I stood bundled in my hoodie shivering in the morning mist waiting for my bus into hell. Finally after a twenty minute wait that could have passed for an hour my bus arrived. Shambling on board and into my regular seat more by instinct than conscious thought I spread out across two seats, pulled my hood down over my eyes and prepared to tune the world out for a few. As I sat there, though, I heard the bus' heater click on and suddenly a warm breeze that I could easily have mistaken for a Moroccan sirocco with a little imagination poured over my head and spread over my entire body driving off the damp chill and hugging me in an embrace more pleasant than any woman's. That moment seemed to pause in time and stretch out for quite a while.. It occurred to me as I sat there basking in the moment that I, probably like most people, have spent most of my life waiting for things to come together... to coalesce into some earthly nirvana with the perfect wife and the perfect family.. The perfect house and job.. the perfect life coming together like a giant jigsaw when I can just manage to gather all the right pieces and I'll finally be deserving of the BIG pleasures.. the luxuries due a person after years of dogged struggling.. But as I sat cocooned in the warm breath of the bus it came to me that maybe the day never comes when one can just quit struggling and enjoy the well earned fruits of one's labor.. Maybe these moments are what it's all about... A life's journey of moments... not a destination.
We used to do this a lot in the early days of Scribal Terror -- readers submitted stories, reflections, poems, drawings, etc., and ST would publish them. I always liked that feature, and I hope Jake's contribution inspires more people to submit something of their own, as ST comes up on its third birthday. Maybe we can do some round robins too!