Early this week, in a Chicago hotel room, I order French toast for eating in bed. Two rarities: sugar and silence. I’m punchy with anticipation. But then it arrives, and the plate is hard to balance on my legs, keeps tipping askew, the knife in need of a stable surface for cutting. I move to the desk, douse the whole thing in syrup.
Surprisingly, it tastes fine (better?), right there next to the phone charger and a brochure for night life.
I am asked, What are you working on now?
The first truth is that I am attempting to become a better human, a force that requires – for me – great focus and a toppling pile of nightstand books. It has felt bravely ordinary.
The second truth is nothing else.
We visit the pond for frogs. Bee catches two while I fish sand out of Scout’s mouth, grains grinding between his teeth. Summer is still new, neighbors not yet sick of one another, everyone slowly gathering to the water’s edge with loosened ties from long work days. A lawn mower starts. The sprinkler kicks on. Down the way, I hear a little boy’s banjo lesson coming along. The scent of charcoal for burgers.
Small chatter. We say very little, just happy to be outside. Happy to feel warm, to hear the toads.
Jotted: After all, spinning is its own reward. There wouldn’t be carousels if it weren’t so. –Adam Gopnik