My favorite radio program ended after midnight. I donned my backpack and climbed aboard my trusty Schwinn mountain bike and rode down to Fat Albert's convenience store in the cool and humid night air. I walked into the store and prepared a large cup of hot chocolate and purchased a red hot pickled sausage.
"Will that be all?" Kim, the clerk, asked as I handed over some cash.
"Yes ma'am," I said, leaving the store to sit outside on the bench and drink that frothy concoction.
I managed to escape the usual hundred questions about Carolyn and whether or not I have talked to her or seen her. She worked at Fat's for years.
As I sat there sipping on my hot chocolate, I thought about life and what I wanted to do with the many decades ahead of me. Most people have school, careers, families, grand aspirations, etc. I read a lot of journals and there seems to be a lot of much ado about nothing – people always living frenetic lives filled with the cookie cutter sameness of a million other Americans.
"Certainly there has to be more to life than money, a job, kids, and keeping up with the Joneses," I thought. "Everybody does that."
I inhaled and exhaled deeply enjoying the night air as a welcomed calmness and peace overcame me. I realized I was exactly where I needed to be in life. I was content to just be – content just to be alive. There I was – sitting on a little bench outside a convenience store in the still of the night enjoying the greatest gift of all, life. I had finally found my grandest aspiration.