I woke up this morning around 1:30 to use the bathroom and found myself not going immediately back to bed. Little man was breathing heavily in his sleep and the air conditioner was humming loudly in its place of honor on the wall. I was a little cold so I turned the a/c off and opened the sliding door to my balcony instead. The quiet is relative here; the sound of traffic from the interchange is always audible, but I don’t mind. I miss the absence of human noise that comes with camping in the mountains or the desert, but hearing the sound of cars nearby makes me think of road trips — and road trips have always been somewhat magical to me.
In addition to the distant car noise, the sound of crickets drifted in from outside. I stepped out onto my balcony for a minute and looked at the silhouettes of the trees separating me from the parking lot of the next apartment complex. A full or near-full moon peeked through the leafy canopy to my right. Why was I up? I felt like I do sometimes when I walk into a room and can’t remember what task brought me there. This morning I felt — Good. Surprisingly good, despite the divorce. I thought about J and how she chooses to go home to S now instead of me, but for some reason (maybe the crazy hour?) I didn’t feel affected by that anymore. The cars and the crickets and the moon through the trees were putting me in mind of other times long before J — Road trips as a kid, going to visit my grandparents in Colorado — and I thought how it really is true that we live many different lives, even in a single lifetime. There are some memory places in my head that J never was a part of, and at least for a brief moment at 1:30 in the morning, I thought I could see my new life that is just beginning, and it wasn’t so sad or scary after all.