This I Believe

Daniel - Dothan, Alabama
Entered on September 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude

I believe in savoring…everything. Drawing it out, delaying the inevitable end. Truly experiencing those last few moments. I soak in the waning rays escaping over the horizon. I float in the few remaining drops of soapy water as they slip down the drain. I nibble on the last morsels sliding across the plate.

I watch the narrow winding pavement disappear beneath my car as I mosey through the couple of miles leading to her two-story home. Once again, the thought dances in my head: if only I could have five more minutes to bask in her golden presence. So I drive 20 miles per hour even though the speed limit is 35. She calls me a “grandma” and giggles. She threatens to get out of the car and hike the rest of the way. But I think she understands.

I can’t stand to leave tiny pools of melted ice cream lingering at the bottom of the bowl. So I wait until my well-mannered grandmother and my self-conscious mother get distracted. Then, I raise the bowl, bury my face in it, and lap up the tasty cream slipping around the edges. I always get caught. I think it’s my ice-cream soaked nose that gives me away.

I am always the last silhouetted noggin extending from the top of the seat, the last person to wander wordlessly out of the movie theatre. I never exit until the credits have vanished, leaving a glowing memory of words on the black screen. I don’t actually read the credits. But I have to relax into the cushioned seat for a few a minutes, encased in my recent experience and surrounded by the closing song. I have to let the magnitude of the film permeate my bones. How could anyone something that powerful dissipate into thin air? How could anyone spend two hours and eight dollars, then simply rush out of the theatre as soon as the movie ends?

I read novels at a crawling pace. Speed-reading should be applied only to textbooks. I like for the words to roll down my neck, shimmy down my arms and legs, and mingle on my torso. Great books should never be analyzed; they should be relished. It’s not important how many books I have read this past year or will read in the next, as long as I have time to truly be involved with one of them, to dive into the pages, to inhabit the story.

These moments are the most meaningful. Just before she opens the car door and saunters off. Just before the waitress retrieves the empty bowl. Just before the screen turns black. Just before the last page turns. Just before the last word falls…