like a small wisp of smoke drifting quietly skyward on a windless day

Getting a new job is like asking for a favor. And so is moving. Asking for a bunch of favors, in fact, between the two of them. Consider me, help me, allow me, permit me, assist me, pay me, appreciate me. At least that’s how it feels when one is disinclined to take up space. Shall I elaborate on that? Nah, not today.

Today I’ll tell you about last night. Last night, driving back to the soon-to-be former apartment with Antoinette in the empty moving van, I wondered if it’s simply experience that makes people feel anxious about all the stuff that could go wrong. Seems logical, natural. Things have gone wrong before, they will go wrong again. Experience tells us this. Experience also tells us that we’ve felt this way before and that “wrong” is oftentimes a judgment, a wish, a desire, not a thing. And it tells us that speaking in generalities is tiresome.

So I’ll tell you about something else that happened last night, something personal and poignant and profound and provocative. I got out of the shower around 9:40 p.m., worn comfortably ragged from carrying boxes and furniture and the more or less standard material culture of middle-class urbanites (the “less” being largely due to the unusual quantity of books I’ve dragged with me everywhere I’ve gone since I was nineteen) from apartment to van and then from van to tiny little seventy-one-year-old house way up on the north side of the city, looked in the mirror for no particular purpose after drying off, and I felt good, all at once. Some things had gone “wrong,” other things had gone “right,” and all in all, life had continued and I was standing in the steamy bathroom with my reflection as testimony, present and without spectation.

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