I think I’ve been accused of having no ideology, but I’ve got plenty! And sometimes I just go with the algorithm. I like thinking that something knows what the heck is going on.
And I must be doing better. My old psychologist texted to talk shit about my favorite football team.
I say, hey, I’m not drinking, still, at all.
He says, your team really was trash this season.
I say, you told me once it would take three years to get my shit fully together and you were right.
He says, your guys better draft well or you’ll be trash again next year.
This is talk therapy, something I was encouraged to pursue, and do enjoy.
Instead of working on his research paper about the dangers of space debris (my idea), the student-athlete I tutor, Wes, calls up his college recruiting highlight reel on YouTube. It has about two thousand views and there’s some nice one- handed catches.
“You’re the man,” I say. “Now back to space junk.”
“Wait,” he says and types my name into the search bar.
I predate the site, but somehow there’s a video of my wife, Grace, telling me she’s pregnant with Gabe. There’s me giving a complicated martini order to a teenage waitress at Noodle Bowl. Me butchering a skinned rabbit in our kitchen for stew. Me waking up from surgery with a joke already prepared for the nurse. Me failing to change a flat on a Louisiana overpass. Me signing up for Twitter. Me skipping metaphysics class so I could get a Ghostface Killah autograph. Me loading the dishwasher, me loading the dishwasher, me loading the dishwasher.
In the months we’ve been working together, Wes has probably put on twenty pounds of muscle. It appears, slowly but surely. Unlike his research paper, which is just blinking back at us at a dismal 300 words.
Don’t you see it? You don’t get it?
Now I’ve brightened my phone and cleaned my metaphorical fish tank. I redirect and incentivize. I’m committed to truth and depth.
Was it cruel of Wes to reduce my life to clips on You Tube? We are not friends, but still, he learns the Japanese are making wooden satellites to combat the problem of his essay. He’s almost in tears looking at a map of what’s all orbiting Mother Earth. He mourns for a minute the potential end of space travel. He’s getting it. The work expands.