You’ll all be happy to know that I’m finally getting the hang of living in
I have to say, the more we get used to this style of life, the less I miss
Except for one thing. One dreadful regret that has hollowed my soul to its very core. I even tried to write a poem about it, but couldn’t find anything to rhyme with “curly death of all my dreams enveloped in rusty cement.”
This is what happened:
About one week after Brooke and I decided we were moving to
Address censored for current tenants’ privacy. You can’t be too careful, especially around Easter.
At the time, I failed to look at the return address. I was too excited to see what was inside. (I’ve never been targeted by a madman before. Despite the obvious downside of death, dismemberment etc., it does seem kind of thrilling to be “chosen” for something.)
I opened up the envelope and pulled out a letter. I began reading it. “Dear Sir or Madam . . .” Two sentences in, I dropped the letter on the floor. It was like in the movies where a wife gets a letter from her husband in the future that she is going to die of cancer in three years unless she finds a treasure buried deep off a reef in the South Pacific, and she simply can’t believe it, and the letter flutters in slow motion to the floor, along with a delicate glass of tea, maybe, and some ominous classical music swells in the background. Except there was no music and I can’t drink tea because it constipates me.
But the horror – that was the same. I grabbed the envelope off the counter, flipped it over and looked at the return address.
I’d been chosen, alright. But not by deranged killer. Rather, by the Nielsen Family.
Zoomed in for extra horror!
Now, a little info about me so no one is caught unaware: I’ve had many dreams in life. Not many of them have come true. (Specifically the ones involving man-made flying machines or conversing with animals.) But the one I had always held out hope for was that someday I would be chosen to be a Nielsen Family. That what I watched on TV would matter. Sure, I may not have well-formed opinions on things like politics and science and which way the wind blows, but goddamnit I know TV! I had a choice to make: Either go to Miami with Brooke and Puppy and chase a new dream, one born of life’s simple pleasures, of love and that awesome smell dogs get when they wake up after a nap; or stay in Brooklyn and take advantage of what may perhaps be my one chance to make a meaningful contribution to society.
A few weeks later, Lili Anna Diaz from Nielsen showed up at my door with a bouquet of flowers to welcome me into the family. It was like being accepted into the mafia, or the Knights of Columbus – there is no “if” you want to be a part of it, it is simply assumed that you will be honored join. In what turned into an extremely awkward exchange, she handed me the flowers before I could explain that I was moving to
She seemed confused, dejected, like I was turning down a chance to cure cancer or a job offer from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Figuring it would be weird to give back the flowers, I thanked her for her time and shut the door.
The flowers died a week later, along with my dream. At least now I can finish my poem.