So here it is, the wee hours of the morning. I’ve been awake for a very, very long time and it was a day during which I labored very, very hard outdoors in the heat for hours.
I should be exhausted. I should be asleep.
But I’m not.
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© Aron Hsiao / 2005
I’m thinking about years, all those years stretching back into the past that are long gone.
So many memories. Skateboarding down waterslides in the park. Picking pumpkins in a Coca-Cola shirt with hair almost down to my waist. Road tripping on highway 101, stopping at every little beach. Playing video games for hours in International House in Chicago before the school year started. Being on a tour bus with a bunch of band members. Bringing noodles home from a Chinese take-out on the upper west side.
The memories don’t fade; they’re as vivid as they ever were. But somehow the calendar tells me that they are farther and farther away. It’s been twenty-five years—a quarter of a century—since we lost that skateboard at the end of the waterslide. It’s been thirteen years, nearly a decade and a half, since that night in Chicago.
The facts register but the mind refuses to understand. How can these things be ancient history when they are as clear as if they were yesterday? How can I be “the same person” and yet so incredibly different?
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The mystical dimension of life is under-appreciated in our culture. Some things can simply not be comprehended rationally; the only way to get an accounting of them is to accept and to sense.
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I don’t know what this post has been for, and I still don’t know why I’m awake. I do know that I’m a strange mix of sad and okay these days.
I’ll be glad when this is all over. I have never been so exhausted in my life—despite appearances.