Last night, I stood on my balcony under the moonlight. I started thinking of the lowest point on it. Naturally, to someone who has not lived my life, it would be all but a single plane. But there is a topography to all things in life. There are mountains and valleys in homes. There are oceans in coffee shops. They are mapped in our memory. They help us remember. This balcony, I thought, was a lake spread through time. Towards the corner that faces the hills is the lowest point; I recalled how I sank there a while ago. I stood beside my silhouette, beside where I had stood that day. I told him it was okay, that he was only learning to swim. There was always the fear of drowning. It doesn’t mean we’ll not try.
And as is with moments when you’re standing by yourself, drinking wine, I was transported back to a distant memory, the moment I could have changed everything. There are moments like that—sometimes seconds—that we know were formative to the people we are today, crucial to the lives we lead. They seem like the tiniest slivers of time, but you know in your heart: this moment, I will remember this, and you do. I remember it clear as day. All I had to do was get off my chair. A few seconds, that was all I needed. We have a habit of asking for time, but a few seconds is usually all we need. That’s all we ask for, and that’s all we’re denied.
And then, I thought of my life today and how, for better or worse, I refuse to trade everything within it anymore. There was a time I would have given everything away for some seconds. Now, I was deeply, madly in love with my days, with the life I lead. And so, this correction brought me back to the balcony, and the topography faded. There was nothing but the envelope of the night sky and the echo of leftover life—bats, some birds, the intermittent honking. In that moment, I thought of change, of how it is encompassing and whole; to want a different life was to lose everything first. Few could make the trade; the others learned to live regardless, with their victories and failures alike, one day at a time.
I was among the others. There is no other place I would rather be, I thought and went inside.