The 17th of September 1982 – Jamestown, Virginia

(found on the tile floor of a public bathroom)

Joanie,

I know my problem. I’m just an ungrateful fucking bastard. That’s it, Joanie. It’s p and s, Joanie, like I always say. Plain and simple.

Because I’m never looking at what’s around me. I’m never looking down at the ground I’m standing on. No way, no how. I’m always looking ahead of me. I’m always looking forward. Or – worst of it all – I’m just staring up at the sky, watching all those clouds that I could never catch just float on past me.

I’m just an ungrateful fucking bastard, but I’ve got these dreams. I’ve got these dreams and these wishes and these wants, and that makes it worse yet, you know?

Ah geez, ah geez, Joanie, I just don’t know what I was thinking, chasing after things like that, the way I was. I was running and running and chasing, I mean, that’s what I thought I was doing. It turns out I was just stripping down naked and diving into a big, old, frozen lake. And, of course, I was complaining the whole time about how cold I was.

And that’s really the worst of it, the realization that you’ve just done it all to yourself, that you’re the ungrateful bastard who’s gone and ruined everything for yourself and everyone else, that, somehow, the knife sticking out of your own back got there by your own doing and nobody else’s, that if you stopped playing the victim, if you stopped hoping and wanting and dreaming and wishing for more all the time and just stayed happy with what you got, then it’d all be better. It’d all be better, and it’d all be easier.

But it gets to the point where that’s all you have, these dreams.

So you hold on to them. You hold on, and you hold on, but it’s already just a shadow. It’s already just a shadow, and it’s slipping away.

Ah geez, Joanie, ah geez.

You just wish you could let go of it sometimes.

You just wish you could.

But it’s not happening.

-Max

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