So your sister and I travel home together. We wait on the platform for our train and we watch the sun set behind the building of a storage facility all orange and hazy like the rest of this summer. She hands me a card. A little square thing in a gold envelope. There’s also a keychain inside—a little angel. Your sister, a little angel perhaps. She smiles and giggles and I feel all her goodness.
Just so you know, I had nothing to do with her after that. I didn’t even read the card for all I care. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.
One of the biggest potholes you tend to drive over is the one you dig yourself Felix, the one you keep digging, that you refuse to fill, and this tired metaphor repeats itself until you end up like this, homeless in the backseat of a car, again.
This is the pothole: attempting to understand the story.
Remember when you used to be funny? Remember how that felt? Any chance you can get back there? Or like, free-spirited. I miss that Felix. Like when you lived in a faraway country where you knew no one and no one knew you but you weren’t bothered by it, and the anonymity of your life at that point sort of became part of who you wanted to become and you loved this idea of future-you because it gave you a kind of peace that you’ve never had.
Remember the day on the gondola lift when you flew high above the overlapping palm trees and saw the world as a good place? I remember it probably more clearly than you do, which says something about your ability to tell stories, doesn’t it? I wasn’t even there and I know that you had sat next to a family of Mongolians on the gondola, least Mongolia is where you thought they were from because their language sounded both Russian and Chinese. It wasn’t a crime to draw this conclusion. Stop thinking you’re such a bad guy. I look at a thorny stem and say—I think this used to be a rose once. Does this make me a criminal? No, Felix. The answer is no. So let’s say they were Mongolians, and let’s say they were a family, and you can still remember their faces, right? Let’s say that they were sitting there in the gondola with you, and that none of your memories are false ones, and they were wondering why you’ve come there alone.
What you need to do is remember where your strength lies. How you waited in the line with your ticket beforehand, and when it was your turn to board the operator asked, Just one? and you said, Yes, and the operator looked surprised, or maybe slightly uncomfortable, because he probably wasn’t used to seeing someone so young there all alone, or maybe he was. Maybe all that you thought you saw was just a reflection of what you expected to see.