my uncle once said something true.

the air was crisp about us. i felt good breathing it. it was clean and ripe and ready to become dioxide carbon. the air had settled with its fate and embraced the inevitable chemical transformation in my lungs. i knew this. the air knew this. the cold ushered it down the aisle.

i have always loved him. i could not have said why, with precision, before this moment; but, in the moments prior, i suspect it had something to do with a perceived (on my part) confidence. not a confidence in himself, which might become arrogance; but a confidence in the framework that permeates our being. like an einstein that saw the bridge beneath him not as concrete but as algorithm, Jim walks upon the formula of existence.

so on this day, almost two years past, we sat outside a coffee shop in ithaca. he, having never met heather, knew nothing of my own personal life; and i knew nothing of him, save that he still believes in that which i do not.

Jim: So how is life?
Me: Well…
(I paused and considered all of the possible responses to this question. Then I fancied trying Truth, and I toyed in alternating moments between supplication and exacerbation before settling on ambivalence)
Me: …Heather’s pregnant.

Enter thoughts and words and dialog, stage right.

Jim: When I was young, I had a wide variety of absolutes I clung to as absolute truth. As I have grown older, I have sacrificed more and more of them. Now, I cling to almost no absolute “truths”, but for the few that remain, I clutch them tighter than ever.

i wish not to be young and optimistic; i would rather be Jim and young.

i yearn to know what are those absolutes and what makes them indisposable; but i also thirst for the journey, whether i find them or not.

at the end of the day, i must entertain the suspicion that all of my beliefs are privy to folly. to survive, i must try myself as an enemy in my own house, and i must judge me right.

every day is such a trial.