Every now and then, I think of letting everything go and opening up a frozen yogurt franchise. I’d rig that bad boy (my frozen yogurt franchise) up and drive ‘er clear across the country. Just me, my frozen yogurt franchise, and the open road. I want the wind whipping through my hair, this entire nation flying past me in a verdant blur, gobs of melted yogurt dripping out of my Subaru and onto the loamy soil — my gift to the heartland — fertilizing the earth with creamy, gut flora-enriching nectar.

I’m not unhappy with my life; lord knows I’m blessed. My wife and my daughter have given me a lifetime of joy — of sending and receiving sweet notes in a pack-lunch, of unplanned drives to the beach, of sitting huddled in the trunk when a thunderstorm passes during one of her soccer games. But through all that, I felt hollowness. Missing from our family gatherings was the beautiful, hulking mobile frozen yogurt franchise of my dreams. When I flip through my old albums, I ache to find — amidst memories of family and friends — photos of my frozen yogurt franchise a-glint in the afternoon sun.

She could have a name like, “Bessie,” or “Cindy,” my great big frozen yogurt franchise could. Stopping for a hot meal (frozen yogurt is a great source of protein, but I’d only eat it for breakfast and snacks, I’ve already decided), a trucker in a flannel shirt might sidle up next to me at a stool and ask what I call her. I hope they do. I’d say, “I call her Bessie.” I’m just speculating with the name “Bessie,” of course. I won’t have had decided until I get my eyes on my frozen yogurt franchise for the first time. Then I’ll know is she’s a “Bessie” or if she’s a “Cindy.” It’s like when you first hold your child.

I speak metaphorically there. When I held my daughter for the first time, I’m not sure that I felt that way. We called her Patty, but we didn’t have to call her Patty, like I know I’ll have to call my frozen yogurt “Bessie” or “Cindy” when I see her for the first time. She (Patty) was beautiful and I loved her, but I did not feel the great wave of purpose I expected when I held my first-born. I thought, “She is beautiful and I love her, but she is no frozen yogurt franchise” I thought that whole thing, but only said the first part aloud to my wife. When I stayed up with our daughter through those sleepless nights, or carted her to the doctor for sniffles and hiccoughs, my wife saw that however strong was my paternal love, I could not silence the intruding thoughts: “would that she were a frozen yogurt franchise.”

It was there (or not there, I suppose!) in out marriage too. I almost never spoke about my dreams of the frozen yogurt franchise, but my wife knew. It was there every time I forgot an anniversary or came home from work late, after lingering outside a Menchie’s where I imagined it was I who mastered those levers from which frozen yogurt cascaded in thick, silky whorls. Sometimes I’d hear a plaintive “honey?” through the thick fog of my fantasizing; my wife’d been talking to me, about the news I think, maybe about work. But I’m not there. Does she know? That I have never cheated though I have never held a mistress. That my eyes stray every time we pass a frozen yogurt franchise thrumming with the calcium-rich vitality of frozen yogurt franchise patrons. She never truly questions, and I fear one day she will. If she asked me “do you love me like you love your frozen yogurt franchise?” I could say there’s no comparison but I couldn’t elaborate. How could I?

More and more I am thinking of “Bessie” or “Cindy.” I’ve saved enough for the initial investment. I have hundreds of routes planned for my jounrey. If I go one way, I’d park my frozen yogurt franchise at Fenway Park for a spell; another, I’d set ‘er down at the Grand Canyon. You can tell a lot about a body by the choices they make at a frozen yogurt franchise. Maybe that’s why I haven’t done it yet. You see, I’m a vanilla man myself. And right now, it feels an awful lot like brain freeze.