Desperation in the air around here

Back east at an old friend’s wedding, we drove through the Alleghenies, Pennsylvania towns, Somerset, Stoystown and Shanksville. Past rusting bridges, brick-red mill towns, stained rivers, Pentecostal preachers cruising in pickup trucks.

Half the women in my buddies’ lives had gone crazy, but none of us knew it. Could’ve been the slanting light, silhouettes of geese on the wing — who knows? We were busy with each other, Thin Lizzy lyrics in our heads… The boys were back in town. All of us drunk and happy, fat in our tuxes.

My buddy Stone says it’s the season to eat, sleep, eat and mate. Testosterone is high. It’s the reason why I can’t get up in the mornings to write. Did they sense it when they were working up the nerve to say and do things they had been harboring for too long? Too late — a season of regret. I guess the summer is over.

Now home in Oregon, the house is freezing cold. The cats nuzzle us in bed, trap the heat. The rain has started. Brown leaves hanging on limbs, dead vegetables out back. I’ve got a Counting Crows song stuck in my damn head and I’m thinking about my friends who barely see each other and hate getting old.

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About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
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