Looking for God in those 2 a.m. cigarettes,
as we look to the stars in the sky on all those many nights.
–Ode to Generation X, 2009
I’ve never smoked a cigarette, but if I did, and it just so happened to be at 2 a.m., I’m pretty certain that alone in the smoke and the lamplight, I’d be looking toward God. I’d be inhaling on all the years that have rocketed by and exhaling on all the things I can’t change – like people I love growing up or growing old or moving away.
I’d be inhaling on my cautious hopes for tomorrow and exhaling on how I wish for my Bridgy and Sully and Juliette — and Juliette — and Juliette — a perfect world with no sorrow or pain.
And, then I’d inhale on bigger hope, because life is short and I want to seize the day. Then I’d close my eyes and exhale at the thought of my children, laughing and smiling with most of their lives still ahead of them; and Robert — and Robert, his black hair salted more and more with each passing day.
Not Cigarettes, But Prayer
And, then I’d inhale again at the thought of my own mortality, and that one day, I will leave this world, and I hope my living matters – even if only to them. And, suddenly, I’d exhale, so glad there is a God who understands that all this inhaling and exhaling at 2 a.m. is not cigarettes, but prayer.
And, then, I’d ask Him for a miracle – whatever kind He thinks I might need, because it never hurts to ask.
So, are you there God? It’s me, Generation X.