I pointed out the moon to Lily as we drove the 900 to her friend Sabrina’s house and we put on the same Radiohead CD we listened to last time, the sad song at the end, “True Love Waits.” Lily looked the title up on her phone, a line about lollipops and crisps, his voice crackling, fading out. It’s pure emotion and raw, goes with the piano, solemn. Feels too early for that though, autumn’s a ways out. I tell Lily to be smart and be safe and have fun, in that order. And then I love you, and watch as she fluffs her hair on the walk to Sabrina’s front door. I put the CD back on for the drive back up the winding country roads past Cougar Mountain, Issaquah, the Sammamish plateau. Where we call home.
Five years ago this week we left for nine months in Europe and flew out of SeaTac on a day forecast to hit 100. When we landed, I didn’t sleep for 24 hours. I ate many times, drank lots, swam, made plans with my mom’s partner Eberhard to climb the Austrian Alps. Two weeks later we did. I didn’t work for another year and that’s when I hung these bistro lamps, and took down the hammock as if some metaphor to signal ‘it’s over.’
I finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell that July and tonight, in the back yard, the second chapter of his latest book, Utopia Avenue. I got a new wireless speaker from IKEA and risked my life in the process, caught in the maze of their warehouse display. I had a moment driving home tonight where I saw myself behind the wheel of my car through the eyes of another driver stopped at the light, sizing each other up. Is this the mid-life crisis? My car is fast and I’m not afraid to prove it. I have turkey skin beneath my chin. I’m angry but falter in the delivery, thinking about getting a gun. We have no plans to go anywhere. It is nearing the time of the official sunset and I’m wearing socks because the AC makes it too cool inside. We have hung the laundry out to dry and soon, I’ll set the fans. I am 49 and have been playing the same song now since 2015. Something’s got to change, but likely won’t.