He took my order at lunch today. I don’t know any of these things about him, but I am sure of them.

Bad decision o’clock at a kegger in the mid nineties, he got into an actual fist fight when he wouldn’t back down from his assertion that Van Halen was a better band with Sammy Haggar. He was winning the argument, he lost the fight, and he would rather it be that way than the other way.

He meets two Saturdays a month in an old barn to race radio-controlled cars with guys who are mostly twice his age. It is the reason two of his more recent girlfriends have left him. Not because he races radio-controlled cars, but because he wouldn’t lie about it when asked.

He is tired of people.

He has a son in first or second grade who has his divot chin and penchant for contrarianism. He sees him on Tuesdays and every other weekend and almost never tells him no, spends money he doesn’t have on things the boy doesn’t need, grabs a beer after his mother picks him up and walks onto his apartment balcony and leans against the railing and looks through the rear window of her car at his little blonde head riding away.

He has been stashing money away for a long time, for something big. Tax refunds. He cashes out his Visa points. A little here, a little there. Whatever it is, he feels like it will change his life. Sometimes he drinks with the radio-controlled car dudes and he’s nearly told them about it a few times, but it’s too tender and close and he can’t.

He’s pretty sure the nineteen year old who just started on the register a few weeks ago would say yes if he asked her out. She wouldn’t, and he won’t, but it makes him feel good.

He hates the effort his father puts into acting proud of him, and would just as soon he stop the charade. If it weren’t for his mother, he probably wouldn’t go over there anymore.

Every year his doctor tells him he needs to stop smoking and every year he says he’ll try.

There is something in him that wills him to see every sunrise and every sunset. He goes back and forth on the whole God thing, but when he looks at the heathery western sky, sunspray like an anthem over pink and purple tatters of wandering clouds, he feels like everything might not be an accident and he prays. Just in case.

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