i think, sometimes, while reading a short story, like a good joke, you gotta wait for it. you gotta wade through the vagaries and the parts where you might put an ellipsis (…) if you were summarizing the story. you have to let the details soak into your skin, into your pores.
i could make a million metaphors, about the climb uphill and all the mosquitoes and the gnarly roots that poke up through the dirt and trip you and everything before reaching that glorious apex where all is stunning, and there is nothing but breathtaking skies and land that stretches for miles and miles, glittering in the sun.
in another vein, i could say something about leave-in conditioner, stain removers or hair dyes where time is a differential to effectiveness.
about rituals and small gestures that lead up to the pronunciation of the transformation.
about appetizers and small talk and whatever else there is. or even before that. the shaving and grooming and flossing part.
i’ve read countless stories where i wondered, there is something being hinted at— will it get there?
if waiting didn’t trigger such forceful desires, such muscular pulls in some substrate within us, wanting to compel us further and onward, would we even bother with mysteries? with noir who-dunnits? with romances?
anyway, i just want to give a little ode to the set up, to the take-you-by-the-hand-and-walk-you around, to looking at the little things, to glancing about in your environment, to getting a foothold of where you are.
sometimes it’s that weird sign or the piece of garbage tucked in the road that looks like a snake that’s the most memorable in a hike (even if the peak is pretty stellar). or maybe that bit wasn’t the most memorable thing, but it’s the thing that comes up later when you laugh about it with your hiking buddies, on the way to the next climb.
i think we have too many words that congratulate the top (pinnacle, summit, peak, apex, crest)… maybe we should hop down a few meters and talk about the gearing up part. (to be fair, there are words like beginning, commencement, start— but those too, feel like points and not the discovery, not the process–the revving up bit.)
i know i have too many analogies going on in here, but please excuse my eclecticism. i just wanted to say:
sometimes it’s worth waiting for.
(and sometimes it’s not)
but it’s a gamble that i think is, more often than not, worth taking.
and for sticking through this rambling post, here’s the kicker:
Norman Mcdonald: The Moth