The prisoner, is he happier the night before he is released, or the night after?
I've been thinking my whole life that nothing trumps satisfaction. We are conditioned to believe that, perhaps. But satisfaction fades, and a low follows a high.
I have one great passion right now, an obsession. Home. I want so much to see Bagram again, because the next time I do, I'll be closer. Kuwait, even in scorching springtime will be a relief. Germany, then Kentucky. Then what? This great growing hunger, this desire to be back home will be sated and I'll be happy. I know that won't be it. I'll have fresh troubles then, but they are unforseeable to me now.
But this is the moment of perfection, and I haven't realized it. I have three glorious months to contemplate a moment beyond criticism, unable to dull until it passes.
Now I am as a young man, made plans to meet a new lover. What feeling on earth is better than waiting for her knock? The minutes tick by, dreadfully slow. Books and television are worthless diversions. You cannot give them any concentration, for your arms ache for her and your chest is hollow awaiting her arrival. How would any mere diversion fulfill such a hunger?
And no matter how glorious the rendezvous, which is better: the hour before the knock on the door, or the hour after?