In about four to six weeks, it will be one year since I purchased this desk. I often get the dates mixed up. The absurdity of remembering the day you bought a desk is not lost on me. But you could not know what is essential to someone without being that person, and I think this run-of-the-mill purchase was the most important thing I have bought in my life. It will also be one full year of this practice of doing it every day. I reckon it would have been an exceptional year, even if nothing good had happened to me besides this: I have written more than before. As it turns out, however, things have indeed happened, and I could not have been more glad. What a wonderful thing it is to be alive, to have things happen to us!
The other day, I sat on a table far from the public eye in a very public cafe and quietly sipped my coffee through the sunny winter afternoon. The warmth was more than welcome as I ripped through Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency. As I read that remarkable piece of work, I wondered if I could ever be that good. Then, my unfounded confidence interrupted me and said: why not?
To think—and of course, I can only imagine this—that O’Hara may have sat in a cafe one day, too. He would have thought the same things reading those who came before him, and from what I can make out of his writing, he, too, would have asked, “why not?” To think there may be a time when these bookmarks, these words are read, too, by someone not quite unlike myself, and to think their first immediate response to them would be that they, too, could write them someday. To imagine all this makes me incredibly ecstatic!
There is time yet; it has only been a decade or so since I first thought: I should write. There is a future and in it lies my prime; there is a magnum opus on some desk, waiting to be written. All in its own time, of course. All good things take time. There is a future ahead, a promising future, and all this, all these days of pointless rambling, and living, yes, living, will make sense. There is hope as long as things keep happening; slowly but surely, things are indeed happening.