After hours that slip into days that blend into timeless rotations of light and dark, light and dark, full moon and sliver, reality becomes a flip book whisking past snapshots of busy nothings.
This process signals the end of sanity as we know it.
Interestingly, there is also a limit to how many days one can sit and watch a person play Tetris on an iphone. It is much shorter.
The initial symptom is boredom. Next comes numbness. Soon, a desire to move, with possible twitching. If not met with action rapidly, despair sets in and the cycle begins again. After three or four cycles, death. Basically, the brain cells just give up and surrender. They can take no more. Mention viewing non-stop Tetris on a handheld mobile device to any hardened victims of Chinese water torture or solitary confinement and it will send chills down their spines. Modern Warfare is endurable. Halo, as well, can be watched as indefinitely as the pizza and coke supply holds out. Little oblong squares dropping at gradually increasing paces are lethal.
Unfortunately, this is my fate.
Which is why today I am on a mission to prevent this. I want to go to that place I have read about on the internet, that I vaguely remember from back when I was a younger, newly married man, so fresh and full of life. I want to go outside. With my wife.
This is no easy task.
One must first get a nine month pregnant woman to move.
This is akin to asking a hibernating kodiak bear, "Would you like to take a stroll with me down to the river to look at the little fishies...but please sir don't maul my face off."
One must handle the situation with delicacy.
And so with the preparation that inspired Custer to blaze into Little Big Horn and the wisdom that caused the Japanese to say, "Let's bomb Pearl Harbor; surely nothing bad can come of that," I begin my task.
But unlike Custer or the Japanese air fleets, I have real firepower.
"Babykins, a co-worker of mine told us we should try walking the beach because the uneven-ness of the sand can help move the baby around more to get him to drop into position for birth."
Bam. Shot fired.
Sure, it all sounds like nonsense to me, but it is very good nonsense. The kind I could spoon feed to a baby. Or to a mother who desperately wants to have one. And it might work, right?? More importantly, it would be a blow to the unchecked regime of the slowly descending rectangular pieces.
Its effect is more than I could've hoped. Before one can say "Lamaz makes me want to do backflips in fields of freshly scented diapers," she's in the car.
That's her. And she actually looks...happy. I do not know my own powers. But perhaps that was what Custer thought, so I am reserved.
Notice behind her, the baby car seat. In the car, empty. I am in this further than I thought.
The beach is beautiful. The water sparkling. And somehow, the sun has a profound effect. It brings her to life. Perhaps standing on the edge of the earth (yes, I still believe the earth is flat, Copernicus was in the minority, people...) brings us to the transcendence that reminds us of the beauty of life.
The beauty of us.
And it dawns on us: these next few days will be the last we share as a couple without kids for the rest of our lives.
Kids go off to college. They get a job and they learn how to fry bacon. But they never stop coming back for mom and dad's cooking, hospitality, and bank roll. And they don't clean the bacon grease off the back splash, so dad has to come out and do that to get back the security deposit.
No, once one has kids, they have them forever. And that is what we want.
Still, this realization propels us to one fantastic day. We eat at Red Onion by the beach, savoring delicious Red Onion sandwiches. We wander through the Vero Beach Art Museum, chatting about art and musing at styles and themes and artists' motivations. We crash the movies without knowing movie times and sit through an adorable, slightly nauseating film about old people moving to India to come to grips with being irrelevant and then finding life there. We lie in her parents' pool, watching the clouds drift by. Well, I lie, and she stands shivering halfway in because the water is too cold, but it's a special moment.
And at the end of the day, the kodiak returns to its home and its natural state.
The world is at peace again. No grand cataclysm. No last stand at Little Big Horn. No bombs. Crisis averted.
This is a wonderful life. We couldn't have it any better. We have a new person on the way, with toes and fingers and little eyes. We get to walk him through the mud that will squish between those toes, help him reach for the dreams that will cup inside those little fingers, and introduce him to the world that will flash with anticipation in those little eyes.
We get to give him life.
And we get to share these last few moments before he comes together.
It's enough to take our breath away.
And maybe it's just enough that when she awakens she'll forget about little oblong rectangular pieces.