They sat at the small table in the corner by the window and sipped their drinks in tandem. She looked out the window and watched the passersby flood across their view, lost in their own frustrations and pressures. It was the first day after she’d finished reading the novel she’d started three years before. She thought it would feel like a triumph, but she just felt drained, as if she’d been at work all day. She shook her head and smiled.
He said, “What? Something funny?”
“Kind of,” she said. She sipped again, still looking ahead. “I just had an idea how I’d feel today, and it’s not what happened.”
He chuckled. “That’s me every day. Maybe better not to anticipate feelings.”
“I guess,” she said. “It’s just, some thoughts are automatic, you know? And for sure some feelings are. It’s just what happens. I think what’s important is not to put any judgment on what we think, just let it happen. Let it be.”
“Speaking words of wisdom?” he said.
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Nice, old man.”
“Old bands are always better.”
“That’s what the DJs want you to think. Nothing new under the sun, right? But—it’s better to make mistakes, to try things out. To believe you can find the new thing, or the different experience. Maybe that’s how we can move forward.”
“Like, your routine is you being stale? Moving back in on yourself instead of, you know, on?”
“Exactly. We get comfortable with the way things are, and that’s true of the way we think, too. We get stuck trying to be right all the time and defend our opinions like they’re scientific truth. We’re scared of getting something wrong. But really, we should be, I dunno, trying to be wrong, more. We get more chances to discover things that way.”
He considered this. “Interesting theory.”
“Could well be completely incorrect,” she said.