1% of the time I kind of hate my life. I hate all the things about it that I love 99% of the time. It happens at different times. Sometimes when I'm in line at the grocery store. At 5:30 in the afternoon some Fridays. While people-watching at the gym. Sometimes at the mall. But it always, always, without fail happens when I'm sitting somewhere listening to children's voices raised in song. One second I'm there, enrapt by the talents of my progeny and then in the next instant a kid will rip off a line so deeply inappropriate or absurd that my innards recoil:
THOUGH IM TYRANNASAURUS- REXY
SOME WILL FIND ME SEXY
It's then that I get what can only be described as "kaleidoscope eyes" in which my vision seems to shrink backward until all that's left are tiny pinpoints of light at the end of a dark, narrow tunnel.
The voices around me get thin and tinny and far away sounding and I'm left there with just the sound of my own thoughts which are focused on my incredulity at being in this place in this moment. Invariably, the same thoughts occur during these episodes: "Why am I here? Who are these children? Whose shoes am I wearing? Why are they so practical and ugly? When did I give up shaving? Oh my gaw, are these Capri pants? Khaki Capri pants? Wait, am I in Capri? Nope. Who are these people? Why are they all so ordinary? Why are so many of them wearing jorts? I didn't write a book did I? I didn't move to the city. I don't have an apartment in Paris, do I? And no flat in London. I don't own anything from the current season's collections. Oh, s#!t, I think I might drive a van. Why are these 8-year olds doing pelvic thrusts in duck costumes? I made one of those costumes, didn't I?"
Then, just as I'm about to claw off my own face in a desperate attempt to escape from the bougie, suburban nightmare I'm living I snap back, clap vigorously, stop clapping because it's not time to be clapping and now everyone is staring at me and then I settle back into my impossibly comfortable and fulfilling life.
But if you do the math you will see:
1% + 40 years + various confrontations with mortality(x) = France
And that's why I'm planning a trip to France. What I don't know is when I'm going. As in I'm still sketchy on the decade. What is not in question is the improbability of going out of my way to see this while I'm there: