Paul Dickey Be Careful What You Desire When You Despair

No doubt he had asked for it. Though it is not the kind of thing one admits freely. If he were given a true choice, he would of course deny it all. He would say there were circumstances. He was a little down and out. No big deal. A wrong man sat in front of him on the bus and a woman had disagreed with him about a movie. He had dug himself into a deep hole. He was facing a brick wall, which was a cliché but that didn’t make it any easier. He had painted himself into the famous corner. He had lost his own way rushing home in the rain. His mother had to be somewhere. It was just this job. He had made a poor judgment and what could he do? His father might own the stock market but that was no help. In retrospect he could see that it was just when things were starting to work out for the best, too—

when he found himself on the train heading for a suburb. He was sweating profusely, relatively speaking. It was totally Hollywood. He was a continent away from Hollywood. In some versions of the story recently discovered in his old manuscript files donated to the library after his death, there were noises of a frightful nature. It was enough to confuse anyone about things like love. Someone on a bench was writing a letter that we know now no one will ever read. Someone spoke in tattoos. A couple was obviously French kissing, but he is pretty sure he was not involved in any of that. A glass window kept asking the time. Oh yes, and there was a God who kept talking and talking, questioning him about what exit he might take. Or a Ph.D. committee wondered but at some point could stop wondering if there was an auto repair shop or perhaps a Dairy Queen close by. A story like this could go on forever and almost does. So a breathtaking but still a normal young lady—perhaps a goddess to him—and of some future is seen shortly thereafter and looks at him, it would seem to many, happily ever after.

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