7. Heaven Can Wait

Nothing happens in this vignette. It’s 11:30 pm. I only have half an hour left to make my deadline. I’m sleepy from the redeye I took from Las Vegas back to EWR this morning. I’m curled in a recliner in my parents’ living room, writing, fixated on the different ways there are to fall asleep in this house. The one that comes to mind is a memory of my dad laying on the carpeted floor of the den on Sunday afternoons, when I was very young. The sun came in through the sliding glass doors. My dad stretched out on his back, with his arms behind his head, big headphones on. He listened to albums on vinyl or reel-to-reel as he fell asleep. Creedence Clearwater Revival. Meatloaf. I remember his sleeping-bear presence those afternoons. He would have been about as old then as I am now, maybe a year younger. He would have been so tired, and the sunny floor would have felt so warm. His kids could wait an hour, could just give him this hour to himself. Everything could wait. Even heaven, in Jim Steinman’s words. Even heaven could wait.

March 7, 2012