excerpt taken from "Along the Frontage Road" by Michael Chabon
I cannot shake the feeling that in letting ourselves be persuaded by mere facts and statistics, however damning, we made an unforgivable mistake. I had stood by once in an emergency room as doctors and nurses strapped my son, flailing, to a table to stitch up a gash in his forehead. I could picture, all too clearly, how your child looked at you as you betrayed him into the hands of strangers.
The father was coming toward us, his gait at once lumbering and methodical. When I looked at him, I saw where Andre had learned to drain the expression from his face.
What I tell you to do?" he said, softly but without gentleness. He did not acknowledge me, Nicky, the ten thousand pumpkins that lay all around us. "Boy, get back in that car."
Andre said something in a voice too low for me to hear.
"Can I get a pumpkin?" he repeated.
The question was apparently so immoderate that it could not be answered. Andre's father pulled his cap down more firmly on his head, hitched up his pants, and spat into the straw at his feet. These appeared to be a suite of gestures intended to communicate the inevitable outcome if Andre did not return immediately to the car. Andre had reset his own face to zero. He turned, walked back to the Firebird, and got in. This time he went around to the big red door on his side of the car and heaved it open.
"Your son is a nice boy," I said.
The man looked at me, for the first and last time.
"Uh-huh," he said. "All right."
I was just another pumpkin to him—dumb and lolling amid the straw bales, in the middle of a place that was no place at all. He went to the car, got in, and slammed the door. The pinging of the alarm ceased. The engine came awake with a rumble, and the Firebird went scrabbling out of the lot and back onto the frontage road. Nicky and I watched them drive off. I saw Andre turn back, his eyes wide, his face alight and hollowed with an emotion that I could not help but interpret as reproach. I had abandoned him to a hard fate, one that I might at least have tried, somehow, to prevent. But there was nothing that I could have done. I didn't have any illusions about that. I dressed and fed my child, I washed his body, I saw that he got enough sleep. I had him inoculated, padded his knees and encased the twenty-eight bones of his skull in high-impact plastic when he got on his bicycle and pedalled down our street. But in the end, when the world we have created came to strap him to a table, I could only stand behind the doctors and watch.
recently, i've gotten the full on realization that there are too many things in life that are beyond my control. you can fight and scream all you want, but when you haven't got the reins in your hands, where you're headed is not for you to decide. isn't that what the world is full of anyway? unknowns and the unchangeables. the only thing i can do is watch and learn how to be okay with them.
i'm not so sure where i'm headed in life.
there are so many things i enjoy but nothing that really stands out. but what these things have brought me, what i've been handed in life, i'm okay with. for now.
maybe someday it'll come to me and i'll magically get an epiphany that spells out a road map of where i'm headed in the future. maybe then i'll venture off to explore the uncharted seas and come back with stories full of life and color.