As I patiently wait for someone, anyone, to give me a job, I am reminded of the fact that I am an impatient person. I don’t like to wait for things. If an elevator is too slow in coming, I take the stairs, even if it’s ten flights. If the bus is late, I’ll walk, even if it ends up taking longer. When I decide I want something, I want it right then and there; delay gratification does nothing for me.
I suppose I have become mired in the “on-demand” culture. Remember when you used to have to go out and buy things? You know, at real stores? Outside of your house? Remember when Internet shopping was something that only uber-geeks would ever think of doing? Remember when your videogame system couldn’t download new games while you were playing online against some snot-nosed little punk with reflexes tripped out on Monster Energy Drink to the point that he can probably see the individual flaps of a hummingbird’s wings and he keeps picking you off with his sniper rifle from so far away that he must be aiming at and successfully hitting a target the size of a pixel on the flat screen his indulgent parents bought him in a futile attempt to prove that they do in fact love him even though he is an entitled weasel that —
I’m sorry. I just got a new Xbox today.
Other than the gaming skills needed to defeat kids that have gorged since birth on a steady diet of Halo, I feel like I am waiting (impatiently) for a lot of things. A job. Success. Piles of money. Critical respect. Notoriety. 24 inch biceps. I’m doing things that should be edging me towards these goals, but they still seem too far away to see. And I don’t have the option, it seems, of ignoring the metaphorical “late bus” and rushing off to find my own way.
Or do I?
Alright, I just need to write a best-selling book. That covers most of it. Job? Check. Success? Check. Piles of money? If I sell out enough, check. Critical respect? If I don’t sell out too much, check. Notoriety? If I become a recluse after writing it, or develop some outrageously anti-social behaviours, check. 24 inch biceps?
Maybe I can get some growth hormones for that. You can just order those online, right?
“Now, where do we begin? Where do we find our start here, Love? Ah yes, at the beginning… Your ma and me, we dearly wanted a family we did. We had your aunts and uncles, of course, and their children, your cousins, were as dear to us as our own would have been. But there’s a part in most of us that needs a family that’s of our own flesh and blood, and we didn’t have that. We prayed to the good Lord, we did, each and every day that he would find it in his mercy to bring us a child to call our own, but years passed and seasons changed, and there was no babe to be found. It pained your ma fiercely. She wept many a tear on my shoulder, she did, watching the other women carrying their children or playing with them in the streets, and I wept my tears too. Yes, Love, I did, so don’t you look so shocked at me, your old da. A man can cry too, great tears of sorrow that fall like buckets of rain through his beard.
“We cried and we prayed, and we cried and prayed some more, but hope wore thin on us, it did. It wore thin as silk, thin as cobwebs, and the wind itself seemed ready to blow it to shreds and carry it away from us. I feared, Love, I feared that our hearts would grow cold and hard as stone, and that we turn to stone ourselves, your ma and me, two stone people crying forever on each other’s shoulders.
“Father MacNamara says that the Lord works in His own time, and that no man nor woman nor child nor even demon-kind can read His ways like some people can read books (not me, Love, as you know that I cannot read a word). The good Father says that the Lord uses time like a painter uses his brush, that he makes His will in ways that small and pity-full things like your old da could never hope to understand. He certainly did seem to be taking His time in us, the Lord did. I shall not tell you that we lost hope, Love, not all of it, but we questioned deeply, your ma and me. That’s why you see the gray in my beard and the white in your ma’s hair, while the other fathers and mothers are young and strong while their children run and play.
“When the Lord finally brought you to us, you came in a basket of sunshine and your blanket was drops of morning dew. Your eyes were blue stars so bright they filled our home with light for the first time that we knew. You were like a warm wind on a cold and bitter winter, cool water on a summer’s day, yes you were. And you were small, Love, small enough to fit in this one great coarse hand of mine, with a finger to spare. And we loved you, your ma and me, we loved you so dearly that our hearts broke with you when you cried, and our spirits soared up to the heavens when you smiled. We loved you as we love you now. And we watched you grow, watched you walk and talk and then run and sing, and we loved you more each and every blessed day, Love.”