“Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not where you’re supposed to be?” I asked my friend. We were driving home from the county fair. I love the fair. Everyone walks around, funnel cakes in hand, gazing at the farm animals contentedly. There’s something satisfying in the simplicity of it all.
But the thing about simplicity is that it makes you think about things that are quite the contrary, quite muddled, quite complicated.
“What, you think we’re lost?” my friend said, looking left and right at the road signs.
“No,” I said. Then I looked around myself. “Wait, are we?”
“I don’t think so. I’ve done everything the GPS told me to. Says we should be home in about 8 minutes.”
“Oh, well that’s good. But it’s not what I meant.”
“What did you mean?”
“I meant like cosmically. Like in the grand scheme of life, do you ever feel like you aren’t in the right place? Lost sort of?”
Sometimes I think a thought over a thousand and one times. I overthink it so thoroughly that it becomes gnashed, crushed into a cranial apple sauce that once resembled a concrete notion. Thoughts hate entering my head. I torture them.
Part of the problem is that I live by myself, and I haven’t really figured out how to do that yet. There’s just a lot of silence when you live by yourself. Too much silence. I like quiet time as much as the next guy, but I don’t like coming home at 5:30 p.m. to not say a single word until I see my co-workers the next morning.
I put a pinch of tobacco in my pipe so I can be like my father. He used to smoke a pipe as my sister and I, both no more than seven years old, sat on a shabby couch in our cabin watching Bruce Lee movies. My mom was there, too, her arm around my sister or me, laughing at the silly voice overs.
I sit here now and smoke a pipe, not to look cool or to start a buzz, but to feel like my father must have as he watched over us, his family. I want to see through his eyes, to look back into the past when to me, Bruce Lee seemed as almighty as Christ himself, and all we needed was each other.