“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I plan to trek past the border. Through the wastes and wealth of a bewitching and bewildering terra incognita I will travel day by day. Maps? This land lies beyond even the most fantastic reaches of a cartographer's imagination. But I have a compass and the sun still rises in the East. I will be lost and found.

I plan to conduct a great symphony. Energy will crackle from the tip of my soaring baton, sparks flying in shimmering arcs over the audience. The timpani booms, the violins sing, the trumpets blare triumphant. Harmony achieved, hanging in the air long after the audience has filed out, the musicians packed up, the lights turned down.

I plan to walk to the end of the battered wooden pier and sit for a while. As the day fades, molten gold streaks the leaden waters. A chill November evening on the bay. On the shore behind, a blaze of light streams from the windows of the house, and I catch glimpses of family and friends through the glass. I will sit here for a just a while, waiting for the stars.

— Thomas Nassim