I take the path from the 67th Street entrance north the road through Central Park that leads to the reservoir. The road passes the Boat House and a man playing his ode to the day on bagpipes in the Boat House parking lot. The road I take passes trees and couples teaching their babies to walk under the trees. It passes behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A man throws a ball to his little dog. Not many people are passing. Rain water is dripping off the leaves of the trees and the bushes. The blossoming trees smell amazing. It's quiet because it just rained and will rain again soon, and it always raining. But at least the grass is long and lush.
I walked and thought about the end of the world. I made a list of what my last thoughts might be if today truly is the end of the world. I wondered if, in the intensity of the world ending, my mind would offer up memories that I couldn't conjure up myself now. I gave myself that possibility. I thought of the warmth and weight of my newborn just placed on my chest; the reflection of a drifting seagull on the stone house window on a grey sky in November; a friend, dying of a cancer, lifting a water bottle to spray a small plant on her hospital bed table; the smell of the grey Chevrolet, of the first German Shepherd, of the brackish ocean. Of course all the lovers would come crashing in, every one. High fives, what fun, thanks for the good times guys---see you in heaven. Then some jokes about that.
The ledge at the office where we smoked cigarettes those first weeks in Uganda; one glance when I knew. The Chick. My brothers. Snow. A mountain in Maine. The smell of the church. I listed more as I walked and the memories flooded in---wonderful things---wonderful things by my side for the glorious instant before obliteration.
Or will I think this----- Oh God, I am 43 years old, and I've only just started my life.