Things that Grownups Do

We sit in the rain and smoke. We worry about retirement. We buy wine and then regret it. We order things from the Internet and forget why we ordered those things. We procrastinate: oil changes, mailing packages, making that call to the the insurance company. We sneak into our wife’s phone to find out if she is cheating because we need the proof.

Proof is what we are looking for.

We look for the best daycare, buy organic food for our pets, pretend that the terrible thing that happened when we were children didn’t really happen. We tell our own children that everything is going to be okay, that we are not going to die anytime soon and neither are they. We are liars and we are thieves. We post passive aggressive commentary on the neighborhood listerv. We are just as sure that we are doing a better job than everyone else as we are convinced that nobody else could do a worse job.

We hold hands. We eat noodles. We drink cold beer and warm soda, we step on the scale too often. We hire somebody else to clean our toilets, or we wish we could afford to. We try not to complain in restaurants, we save our money and then we spend it all at once. We stay home on Friday nights. We get divorces or we stay married, but either way we hid the truth and we do terrible things to one another. We pretend that we are not jealous and we pretend that we are not afraid.

And some nights, we look up at the sky and see the thin crescent of moon hanging there, like a promise.

Some nights, we press dollar bills into the palms of a girl whose life has been ravaged. We utter kindnesses that were unbidden, and we love, we love, we love.

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