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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Some days you can get clear across the country. Other days you can't even get out of your own backyard. Yesterday, even though I really wanted to see you . . .

Look, gas money aside, you have to have the willpower to work the pedals. Yeah, and you could've picked me up, but I hate to look like a mooch. I'll try to say this one more time: I had nothing better to do than visit you. But the . . .

Okay, I'll quit it with the "buts," if you'll promise to listen for three minutes.

Remember that time I called you and wanted to go to the beach? Yeah, the time you had the doctor's appointment. That was a legitimate excuse, I'm not challenging that. Remember I only gave two hours notice? I wanted to leave right then, drive all day, get there at night, I didn't care. You mentioned taking that trip the next week, and I didn't want to go anymore. Does this make sense yet?

All right, ummm . . . February, the cherry trees were blossoming in D.C. and we wanted to see them at peak. We stayed at a hotel that cost too much, how you worried about that. The next morning, I bought you ice cream, even though it was below forty outside. I could've driven to Florida that day, if you'd have come with me.

No, neither of use could have afforded it then. And you wanted to take pictures of truck stops and overlooks, and I was going to write their captions and form a story.

I'll tell you why we don't go now. The new music, even the stuff on underground radio, is so overdone. I've counted the number of bricks in the sidewalk from my apartment to Subway - four hundred and six. Once I counted four hundred and eleven! Or the way, most of the time, coincidences can't be explained, so I spend hours trying to decipher their meaning, like the time the same balding old woman came in to both the gas station and the CD store when I was holding two jobs. My ex, whom I never talk about, used to tell me my fingers looked like a dead fish's gills underwater, swaying with the tide, sadly graceful. Death, I was always compared to death.

Yeah, I don't know what to say now either.

Yesterday was huge for me. I don't know . . . everything that could have been done, things that could have been seen, they were all so much. Even that mass of things that I had to think about, it was so small compared to other people's problems. I felt like an asshole, but at the same time I was an asshole for not calling you. What does that make me?

I'm sorry you're leaving me. Shit, I can't believe you said that. How are you so free to say that?

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