I haven’t opened the envelope yet. The one that reveals where I will be road tripping and what I will be doing starting Monday morning. Partly because, as you can see, it is guarded by the gatekeeper. But the primary reason is one I’ve been fascinated by for most of my life: the tension and power of thresholds – those moments just before the secret is revealed, or the decision made. When it still feels like anything could happen.
When I was a teenager, I saw a photo of a flower pot sitting on a ledge. It was so far out on the ledge that it was very likely to fall. But it hadn’t yet. It still might not. It left me breathless and I still imagine it there, teetering on the brink. Many of the stories I write involve such moments. All of the stories in First You Jump deal with thresholds when a life-changing decision must be made from which there is no retreat.
Now, an envelope containing the details of a three-day road trip is hardly that dramatic. But still, I relish the delicious suspense and want to draw it out as long as I can.