A wise man once told me, “You have the world in your hands.”
I don’t know what he thought he meant by that or if he was even aware of what mind-boggling responsibility that entails. I didn’t take it as positive encouragement. I thought it was absolutely horrifying. Something you’d only wish upon your worst enemy. I wondered how wise he really was.
Maybe it’s the lack of sleep, or something in the air, or the secret signals the TV pumps into my brain when it’s not on, but there is a profound unease with the thought that the world is the size of an orange and rests in my palm. Shit, I don’t even know what to do with my own life much less the lives of 7 billion sentient souls on this planet. And why would I want something so grandiose, majestic, awe-inspiring and complicated to be shrunk to the size of something that could fit in my hand?
That would make the Alps about as tall as a hair. The Gulf of Mexico about the size of a thumbnail. You and I wouldn’t even be visible.
If the world were in my hands I’d never be able to dance or throw my hands in the air like I just don’t care. I’d walk on tippy-toes everywhere and wouldn’t let dogs into my home for fear they’d jump up on me thinking it’s a tennis ball or some chew toy and snatch the world in their jaws. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I’d keep the world in a jewelry box by my bed and stare at it all night long. Midnight would find me stroking it, cooing lovely lullabies in its direction in hopes that I could turn the world from a raging brute into a sleeping, peaceful child.
Some people would probably put the world in their pocket and just go about their day. I would wrap it up in cloth and shield it from the blowing snow.
Thankfully the world is too ripe to hold. Too large for just one person to carry around. We all do our part holding it up. Like that childhood game where ten people lift one person by only using two fingers each, we don’t even feel it.
It’s late. I’m done worrying about what I would do with the world. I’m going for a midnight jog because the air is crisp and cool and I can’t sleep and it helps me think, or stop thinking — one of the two. The stars wave dimly from above and barely pass through the Hollywood lights to reach me, but, still, I feel guided by their quasi-twinkle, by their secret Morse code. They hang there just for me, like a charm dangling from the neck of my lover.
My lungs will expand and contract and if you see me I might look like a man being chased by invisible coyotes. In a way, I am.
A wiser man once told me, “Live your life now, don’t wait until you die.”
Time to run…