We met at dusk by the river because it was Fred’s last night in town. He was driving out West the next morning to start a new job, a new life. The night sky was so clear you could see a million stars. Everyone was there. The booze was flowing, and someone was passing around a joint. It was just like old times. Gary said we should stay out until the sun came up. We all agreed. It got cold, so we gathered some wood and started a big bonfire. At midnight, we decided to call it a night because most of us had to get up and work the next morning.
Tony loved Jules and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Steve loved Jules and said he could not live without her. Jules didn’t know what she wanted. When Tony and Steve told her she had to choose between them, she said she couldn’t, that she loved them both, and ran off in tears. So Tony and Steve decided they had to settle it themselves. They found an abandoned house on the outskirts of town. Tony brought a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon; Steve brought two live hand grenades. That’s when my mother came into the room and told me stop watching so much daytime TV.
I knew something was not right with Bob that night. Maybe it was the look in his eyes, or just a feeling in the air, but I could tell something bad was about to happen. When the door to Tomahawk Joe’s opened and Rudy walked into the bar, my suspicions were confirmed. Rudy had ruined Bob’s life. He had stolen Bob’s wife and humiliated him in front of the whole town. Bob was looking for revenge, and everyone knew it. As Rudy approached our table, I tensed up, ready for anything. I watched as Bob slowly reached under the table and come up with something in his fist. It was two Xanax, and he popped them into his mouth. For the rest of the night, Bob just sat there in the corner with a stupid grin on his face.
Her words were all I had to get me through those long lonely nights. She told me she had never met anyone like me before, and unless she did not know her own heart, our relationship had the makings of true love. I told her I’d never been in love before, but asked her if she would show me the way. I also wrote her that if my feelings got any stronger, my heart was going to burst. So she set up a time and a place for the two of us to meet. For two whole weeks, I could think of nothing else. When the day finally came, I blew her off. You can never tell with e-mail. For all I knew, she could have been a guy.
Dirt grass leaves sky. Dirt grass leaves sky. They whipped past me in a blur as my brother pushed me on our swing outside our Kentucky farmhouse. As I rose higher, I kept trying to push my chubby little legs straight up to heaven. But then my foot snagged a branch. I was too high. I told my brother to stop, slow down, but he just laughed, and pushed harder. I tried dragging my foot on the ground but only started the tire swing spinning. I started crying. My grip on the tire started loosening. I screamed for him to stop. With that, Dr. Dan, my psychiatrist, drew me out of my regressed state. “Wow!” I said, “That’s it. I’ve had a breakthrough. That must be where it all began.” “Well,” Dr. Dan said, “given that you’ve never been out of New York City, and you don’t have a brother, I doubt it’s your memory.” I don’t know. Maybe I read it in a book.