When I was sixteen I used to think a lot about the mysteries of life, the universe, death, all of the important why's. I would sit in our driveway at night during the summer, the smell of warm asphalt all around me, and I'd stare at the stars and wonder. Sometime during college, or maybe it was after, after reading Socrates and Foucault, I stopped wondering so much. The question of why became one of how: how will I pay the rent? How will I find a job? How will I manage to record Melrose Place and still go out to meet my friends? My universe became simultaneously larger and smaller, my mind cluttered with so many pressing issues that I didn't question beyond what was there. I haven't sat in a driveway at night to stare at the stars in years.
Zoey smells like warm asphalt sometimes, when she's been running around and around for no reason at all. I grab her mid-leap and bury my nose in the top of her head. Where did she come from? This little being that I made. If matter can neither be created nor destroyed, where was her energy before all of this nonsense of a name, an address, a social security card? Why her? Why me? Why? My father once told me a story about a psychologist that had a three year old child and a newborn baby. The three year old was in the baby's room unsupervised, but the parents could hear him talking via the baby monitor. "Tell me about God," he whispered to the newborn, "I'm beginning to forget." This could well be woo-woo, flakey whoa, roll of the eyes and shake it off to pay the electric bill. Maybe it is. But lately I've been asking Zoey if she remembers being a baby, and she says yes. I ask her if she remembers being in my tummy, and she says yes. Then I ask her if she remembers what was before, but I get no answer at all. Zoey also remembers saving the Big Red Chicken because she saw it on Dora that morning, so again, what does it mean? Probably nothing. Still. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed and for the first time since a long time I am full of wonder. And why. And thank god for all of the questions.