Think back to the time when you really wondered.
I wonder what people will think of this outfit. I just bought it.
I wonder how I'll do on this interview. Will I get the job?
I wonder what college I should go to.
I wonder if mom knows I've been smoking.
I wonder if he's cheating on me.
I wonder if he'll ever ask me out.
A bit further.
I wonder if anyone notices this big zit on my forehead.
Keep going. Really stretch back.
I wonder if Santa Claus is real.
That's it. You're getting closer.
I wonder where babies come from.
I wonder where hot dogs come from. Why is the sun yellow? Why does hair grow? If I eat dog food, will I get sick? How come I have freckles? If I push really hard on my belly button, will my finger come out the other side? How long do I have to dig until I reach China? Is there a Chinese boy digging into our backyard, only upside down? If I pull off all of this daddy long leg's legs, will it still move? If I pull Barbie's head off, and stick Ken's head on her body, will he look down and wonder how he got boobs?
Now you're there.
You're back at the time when the world was full of questions and possibilities. Everything existed to be wondered about. Things which didn't exist yet were meant to be imagined. The brain was active. Thinking. Figuring out. Wondering.
You used to be there.
Somehow, along the way, your questions got answered. Or annoying to others. And you learned to stop asking. Maybe you were 5. Maybe 12. Maybe 20.
If you're like me, your sense of wonder never learned to sit down and shut up. It's what causes you, in the middle of a pleasant evening out with a friend- eating ice cream and sitting outside, to suddenly ask, "Hey. Do you ever look around and think to yourself, that would be a great place to store a dead body? Or, man, if you put a dead body there, you'd get caught in no time?" Your company looks perplexed, perhaps even a bit alarmed. "I do," you admit. Then your brain switches tracks. Just a bit. "If you put a dead body in a trash bag," (your brain is wondering all things dead body now) "do you think someone would smell it?"
"I think so," your company says. Almost as if they've bit hit with a stun gun.
"Yeah....maybe," you agree. "But what about if you tie it real tight? I mean REALLY tight. With a twisty tie, or something. Or put it in another bag. Two-ply." You're really thinking about it.
Your friend has suddenly lost his desire to finish his scoop of double chocolate chip. His spoon taps slowly and nervously at the side of his glass dish. Perhaps he's wondering how to end the evening. "Pretty sure you'd still smell it."
"Maybe," you say. You're having no trouble scraping the bottom of your dish for every little bit of mint chip. You think about raising it to your mouth and licking the rest out, but are pretty sure that wouldn't be couth. You wonder if it would be possible to lick a hole through the glass, even if it took months. Years. Lifetimes.You wonder what grotesque thing this would do to your tongue and you are also suddenly grateful that your tongue is not sand-papery rough like a cat's. Although that might help you lick your way through that glass. You think about sneaking a lick to the back of your hand, just to see how rough or not rough your tongue really is, but decide against this, too.
You've learned some measure of self-control.