It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m in a small town in Rockland County, New York. It’s about 45 minutes from the city, and somehow, the city is eons away. So, here I am, not in NYC but instead watching a brilliant, premature sunset through the stained window pane of a fast food restaurant. It’s not stained like stained glass—it’s stained like someone was flicking ice cream on a spoon at the window. That’s the only way I can imagine those dried-up, white drippy globs ever climbed so high.
The sun’s vanilla on the snow and it looks cold. It penetrates the leaves of a nearby bush. The leaves tremble at the mercy of a wind.
There’s an Hispanic kid eating ice cream and smiling through sparkling eyes; he’s telling his dad what’s what about fire-breathing serpents.
“Fire-breathing serpents aren’t real, anyway” he informs. He speaks between ecstatic bites off a plastic spoon. “Did you know that?” Dad is nodding and chewing on a burger.
I get to thinking that I miss being afraid of ghosts. When did that stop being real? There’s something heartbreaking about a life without belief.
Thing is, we can believe anything we want to…we do have that kind of power. Galaxies emerge from our minds; and those of us who don’t believe in ourselves may find it easy to disprove, to quote Douglas Adams, “god, the universe and everything.” edit: I think I got the quote wrong…:/ Of course I don’t mean god. I was just talking about ghosts. But belief impacts our experience—and I’ll never limit my experience to a sun going down over a bunch of snowy trees in December. It’s a fire-breathing serpent, and he’s going to hibernate before the night gets cold. It’s a giant ball of ice cream. It’s the fucking Egyptian God of the Sun, Ra, for all I care. But don’t bore me with cold facts, kid, okay?