Okay, first thing you have to do is get on the boulevard of American dreams and stay on that until you reach the street of raised hopes. You can’t miss it, it’s after the road of heightened expectations, the avenue of very appealing visions and the alley of discarded notions and disproved theories. You take a hard right at the street of raised hopes and stay in the left-hand lane. You’ll pass by the streets of recalcitrance, remorse, resentment, and reticence.

About a half-mile after reticence, raised hopes ends, just about at this construction site of no particular significance. You’re in tranquility park now. Where the lake of forgotten purpose is? You also got the zoo of the perpetual second childhood there, the ballpark of the self-proclaimed champion, the soccer field of the unconvincingly youthful, and the statue of the unsigned artist. The hotel of unexpressed longing will be on your right and across the street are the borrowed trust building, the blinding ambition building, and the bank of universal value. That’s the bank that has that new modern sculpture dedicated to the spirit of ceaselessly compounding interest installed in its plaza. That’s also right where the street of raised hopes seems to end. Actually what it does though is it does like a little zigzag number and turns into the road of subtle misgivings.

Now you stay on the road of subtle misgivings, passing the avenue of honorable endeavor, the avenue of rewarding work, and the avenue of sublimated vocation. Immediately after that, you’ll see the parking garage of wide-open possibilities. All fifteen stories. It’s on your right. Pull in there and park. You’re going to have to hoof it the rest of the way.

Take the footpath of security past the porch of happiness, the household of harmony, and the stoop of understanding and keep on walking until you reach the mountains of the new millennium. You’ll see the tower of knowledge off a ways as well as the library of conventional wisdom, the school of kindness and civility, the church of human endeavor, the used-car lot of human folly, the mall of innumerable passions, and the grocery store of well-stocked plenty.

Behind the grocery store, back by the dumpster of rotted desire, you’ll need to slide down the bank of the stream of lost causes, wade through the water of dampened spirits, ford the river of unfulfilled promise, dash across the field of fallow abilities, and trudge through the swamp of good deeds left undone. The quicksand pit of tempting solutions should be avoided at all costs.

You used to have to climb the mountains of the new millennium, now you can just ride the escalator to tomorrow right up to the first summit. From there what you’re looking for is the ladder of opportunity. There are lots of ladders around, but the one you want is beside the fire hydrant of gut feelings and the newspaper-vending machine of all that is sad and lonely.

Climb the ladder of opportunity up to the steppe of joyful yet oddly sorrowful prospects. The stairway to really big ideas is close by, carved directly into the cliff face of sheer arrogance. When you get to the top of the stairs, go through the doorway of newly discovered options and down the hallway of somewhat distracting choices. You could normally take the roller coaster of life here, but it’s closed for routine maintenance during the off-season. So instead what you have to do is you have to ride the moving sidewalk of care-free living down the concourse of lassitude past the snack bar of bittersweet memories and the delicatessen of foggy recollections. Swing across the pit of iniquity on the knotted rope of the very last chance, and the bridge to the twenty-first century is right there, right on the other side. You can’t miss it.