We're all doomed. My grandfather said that yesterday in the hospital, staring up at me through a morphine fog, thumb wearily resting on the button giving him the injections. I guess he was right. Julia was doomed as soon as I invited her into my apartment in March, shoulders back, smiling. I was doomed the moment I found her tooth brush in my bathroom cabinet. We were doomed the moment she turned over in bed, away from my touch, feigning sleep, eyes clearly open in that last moment before her face rolled under the covers. I get out of bed to get a glass of water but instead end up accidentally sitting at the computer and listening to Lemuria on iTunes all night, half-awake, swirling glass of whiskey in hand, thinking about wanting to cry but not being able to fully bring myself to it. Birds chirp and I shoulder the mid-morning colloquy of her last night's dreams with a nod and the occasional non-committal noise like "huh," and "uh-hmm." She doesn't even see the shattered bottle of Maker's Mark in the corner soaking into the carpet.
Somewhere, a dog barks at a car and feels powerful.
We walk to the park a few blocks down and sit, waiting for something to happen. "I am doomed," I think out loud, muttering. She asks me what I just said and I say I don't know. Sometimes I lay on the floor in my bedroom and think about how doomed I am, how screwed. I work at a Barnes and Nobel, more for the discount than the money. When I am not working, I am thinking about my book, thinking about writing my book, thinking about what I would look like sitting at my desk, writing my book, sipping wine in front of shelves upon shelves of books, my collections, a vast library, a roaring fire. But none of that exists. I am doomed.
Somewhere, a bird flies into a window, survives, and is no longer afraid.
Rich people have mansions. Donald Trump owns countless buildings, streets, businesses, whatever. Donald Trump also has a horrible comb-over. I still have all my hair; at least I have that going for me. I ask Julia if I have a good haircut and she laughs and says, "What a stupid thing to ask," and takes another drag off her cigarette. I walk to a coffee shop and sit in the back with an empty cup, people watching. I get a text from my sister. "grampa died" No punctuation. Not even the courtesy or respect to capitalize "grampa." Julia walks in and sits next to me. She asks me how long we've been dating. I say I don't know. She sighs and orders a coffee. I gave my grandfather a hug and said goodbye when I left him yesterday. I feel good about that, I guess. I don't know how I feel. I feel doomed. Grampa was doomed the moment I said goodbye to him.
Somewhere, a homeless man eats at Olive Garden, treated by a golden-hearted stranger, and feels young again.
Me and Julia have been fighting. We go to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. On the drive we communicate solely through battling silently over what radio station to listen to. I push the button auto-tuned to NPR then she pushes the button next to it to go to some crappy pop station where fourteen year old girls in a twenty-four year old's clothing and makeup sing songs describing things they don't know anything about like love and credibility and "being real." All pop stars are doomed from their first moment on a stage or behind a microphone or in a recording studio for tryouts, whatever. Michael Jackson was doomed since before A B C. Now he's dead. I wonder if they botoxed his corpse one last time before the funeral.
Somewhere, a battered prostitute boards a bus to Memphis, terrified and hopeful and free.
My father is carving the turkey and my mother is watching a baseball game, shrieking. The house is warm. Their dog wags her tail when she sees me. Me and Julia are still fighting about something. I don't remember what started it, probably something I said maybe. Maybe something I didn't say. Maybe she started it. Regardless, she's yelling at me now about "communication" and I'm blinking slowly and shaking my head just a little and she says, "Go to hell." That's all she says. "Go to hell." Then she steals the Thanksgiving turkey and leaves. That turkey was doomed the moment it was packaged up in it's Butterball wrapping and yellow netting. Thanksgiving was doomed when the first musket ball blew hot through some poor native American's chest and into the heart our forefathers assumed they didn't have. My father looks up from his bowl of cranberry sauce and mutters, "Dad was right." We're all doomed, I guess.
Somewhere, a man runs a stoplight and a police officer does nothing, shrugging, too content with the weather to care.