The 16th of February 2004 – Pueblo, Colorado

(found on Gaylord Ave., behind the Asian Buffet)

Dear Taylor,

Do you ever get that feeling? That little bundle of tightness in the small of your back?

Somehow I got this idea in my head, and, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t shake it out. It just won’t go away.

I’m worried. I’m very worried that I’m not in control and that nobody is. I’m worried that I’m just “that guy,” some character in a novel that can be boiled down into an archetype and a couple of bland descriptions. No matter how hard I try, I don’t seem to change. I’m “that guy.” He frowns and it somehow becomes him. That guy. He worries too much. He mopes.

I just don’t seem to fit. That’s the other issue. Everywhere I’ve gone, no matter where I’ve gone, I just don’t seem to quite get stuck in the right spot. It all just feels slightly, almost imperceptibly, wrong. At least everyone just humors me, with their hollow smiles and cheap hellos. But they’re just playing their role. But then, so am I.

Maybe it’s not already written for me. Maybe I’m not a simple character in a story lacking depth and personality. But I still feel static, you know what I mean? I still feel like my life is already locked in on target, and I’m locked in on who I am, and I’m just being dragged somewhere. I don’t like being dragged. I don’t like going where I’m going.

I’m not sure when it happened. Maybe it was when I woke up on my 32nd birthday and couldn’t stop crying. Maybe it was just when I realized that I had been married for four years and was about to have a second kid. I just got that promotion at work, and Marie and I put a down payment on the new home. We were moving in, and I remember looking around that new neighborhood, filled with nearly identical neo-Victorians, and I just saw an entire community of people who were in the exact same spot as me, doing the exact same thing as me. I wondered if they came willingly. Maybe they were dragged there just like me. I wondered if they knew how they got there. I sure didn’t.

I just wish I could relax. I just wish I could have a single moment of peace. I just wish I could enjoy a moment.

Without wax,

Leonard

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