Lost time billows out with charcoal plumes from the crevices in my new Weber Stainless Steel. I contribute to the unseen canopy of smog today, albeit guilt-free. Perhaps I should shoulder a more substantial anxiety over the matter, not for the ever-resilient environment but for my lackadaisical attitude about where the last four hours have gone. Douglas Adams once compared time to an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. On this balmy weekend’s reprieve, I reluctantly embrace his metaphor. 

I attempt to distract myself from the bouquet of burgers broiling under the lid by perusing the Dallas skyline. Mankind’s rectangular offspring, silkscreened into nature’s blue fabric in the distance, taunts me. It sits right above my fence line, each building an epitaph for those who erected it. I visited a sick uncle in my youth once, whose family members constantly bickered with him about which one would have the honor of writing the inscription on his tombstone. Most ironic, he outlived every one of them.

We obsess over the manner of our approaching demise; we construct obelisks in an attempt to attain immortality vicariously. How many of us speak of our own children as the legacy we leave behind? I’ll wait until dusk before corralling my own legacy-bearers into the Caravan and tour the obelisks adorned with million dollar neon for a thirty-minute kick. I hold my breath to flip the patties and fret inside about the lightness with which we chart our days. 

Even still, I take seventeen seconds to count seventeen high-rises before my burning beef grounds me. A theology professor told me recently the purpose of life: glory to God and joy to man. I see a thieving squirrel make off with birdseed my wife deployed for the cardinals this morning and the smile I can’t control helps me understand the professor’s words. Creation engulfs us, some of it wrought by us. Temporal living allows us the luxury of making and the finer luxury of appreciating that which was made. So, I relax and offer my son a hot dog.