Forgetting Joy

I had begun reading The Walking Dead comics upon settling myself on the train, having just installed a comic book reader on my laptop. About halfway through the ride a thought percolated through my brain:

This series isn’t even done.

I paused before loading up the next issue. I thought of Naruto and Bleach, both comics that I had begun reading in High School, one of which I was still reading. I rolled my eyes in exasperation.

I don’t want to do this forever, too.

I closed my laptop, magnetic latch closing with a note of finality. I had just quashed my inner child under a mountain of skepticism and disappointment.

As I stared out of the train into the landscape whirring by, I realized that I had forgotten what joy was. It wasn’t about calculating returns. It wasn’t about the past and it wasn’t about the future. A few years ago I would have jumped, stumbled, or cautiously crept into a new show, book, or comic, but I would have done so without any such premeditation. Joy was in the moment rather than the payoff.

I thought back to all the things that I had been denying myself lately – dance, books, art – and it came down to joy. It came down to experience for its own sake. I had forgotten it, and now I was intent on rediscovering it.

I’m getting so old.

I got on the train the next day with a sci-fi book in hand.