(It's kind of an inside joke with the Nunner. When I started work at the Paragraph Factory in 2007, she trained me on how to become a news producer. Since then she's been the go-to gal for advice, both personal and professional, even though anyone acquainted with Natalie and me realizes how crazy that sounds — hence the inside joke. But Nunner's been a solid. I've been lucky to know her.)
I had planned to journey to Brazil this month, but life happened between the thrilling idea and the trip; in the words of the poet / philosopher Jackson Browne, things changed as I was following through with my beautiful plans. Those dreams are dead, but I'm alive — goddammit — and Brazil still tugs at me and Natalie knows that.
"You could go for 2016," Nunn said. "The Olympics are in Rio." And simple as that, another plan was born. I have no desire to hang out in Rio, but at least there's a definite reason to be there, an irresistible pageantry. And despite what some may hope for, I am in this for the long term. I'll be 55, and perhaps by then the planets will be back in their orbits and gravity will work the way it's supposed to. If not, I'll watch those lights alone. But I'll still carry that laughter in my head.