Stephen S Lane
Who over what
Long ago, when DVD’s and VHS tapes roamed the earth and Netflix was still a mail-order service, I moved to a new city for a job doing something I really loved. I was just starting out on the journey we call adulthood – which at the time, I thought of as a destination – and I was determined to make the most of what I believed adulthood should be: A life propelled by the thrill of charting my own course, by the near-certainty that great things were just around the corner and the endless possibility of a city and its millions of people.
I’ve never been great at bringing order to my life. Like anyone else, I find myself swept up by aspirations of a cleaner, uncluttered existence; like most of us, I lose steam: Three simple steps to organize your closets / mudrooms / spiceracks! (Simple one time, perhaps, but not on an ongoing basis.) Take control of your inbox! (Said the gods to Sisyphus.) Do this to trim your bellyfat! (Which has been with me since before the internet.) No matter my efforts to embrace the latest hacks, tips, or tricks, my life reverts to what it always has been: orderly only to the extent that I can wade through its clutter with my head above the surface.
I could feel it looking at me. I’d set it on top of my phone on the nightstand, and in the dark it caught the glow from my phone and the lights of the street below. It looked asleep, the bookmark ribbon lolling like a tongue out the side of its mouth. But I swear it slept with one eye open.