She recited her notes out loud as I steered. “Promises encourage writing asynchronous code in a way that appears synchronous. Okay. A promise is pending when it hasn’t been resolved yet. When the promise succeeds, the promise state is fulfilled. When it fails, the promise state is rejected. Got it.” Her words — or the ways they combined — were such gibberish to me, such an unfamiliar language, that they muddled into a soothing backdrop of white noise. Promise, promise, promise.
The pandemic has stripped us of white noise, like it has stolen so many things. The thick silence of one’s home can be stifling; outside, at the grocery store or the park or the farmer’s market, other voices can be tiny alarms, too close, too brash, too careless. White noise, the fuzz of warbled sound that lulls the mind towards presence with itself, has become a rarity. I had forgotten how it could be like a gauze, like a blanket wrapped around my brain to quiet its hurry and soften its sharp edges.
My eyes fixed gently on the highway ahead as we sliced through rolling green hills, resembling Scotland or Ireland or just somewhere Not Here. The watercolor blue above was a bottomless yawn, with its clouds spattered in whopping heaps to convey just how much space there was, just how wide open. You had to gape back at those clouds. They were mammoth, but not menacing, bouncing sunlight at the windshield with their swollen underbellies turned to silver.
“Each promise has a ‘then’ method that handles what happens when the promise transitions out of the pending state,” Lauren read. My thoughts wandered.
Are we ready for this? Can we afford it? Is it too fast? Too huge of a commitment? “He’s just a happy little guy,” the rescue founder had said twice on the phone when she called me four days before, responding to the Petfinder inquiry I assumed would go unanswered, like the rest had. I sifted through a mental list of potential dog names, holding them up to my memory of his face from the online listing, his wide brown eyes and scruffy chin — so serious, so sweet — that had reeled me and Lauren in.
“Promises are eager,” Lauren read, shuffling papers around on her lap. “A promise starts executing code inside as soon as the promise constructor is invoked.” And the sky scrolled by, scrolled by, scrolled by, the clouds suspended like offerings, the present suspended for a moment in the soft space of potential, in the anti-rush that happens when you know you can only be where you are, couched but moving forward.