It was a time in my life when every little detail seemed to matter. Like it was all just there for the taking. Life seemed to vibrate, to hum. All of it a painting and me just passing through. You could say it felt like a charmed life. Down to the fact that I could hear the neighbors fighting every night: the guy would start shouting and his wife would start crying and pretty soon the baby joined in and it all just piled up like that, a heap of broken glass. The kind of sad cry of the unheard lower class. I leaned out the window by the street lamp wishing I was Bukowski. They shouted, and I think there was some hitting but I tried not to get involved. The guy was out on parole and wore a mustache. It felt like being a part of something real though, the youth part of me passing through. It had a grit to it living downtown. The prison right behind the slaughterhouse where they made the bacon, the one with the cartoon pig. It felt like I noticed too much. Like everything could be written down or needed to and I’d miss out on something if I wasn’t careful and that made me nervous. I sprang out of bed for fear of missing out. I pined hard for females. I brooded and made a pathetic game of it but always lost. I started to learn that to write is to live, and you can’t do much of the former without the latter. To live and to love, to feel something so much you don’t want to let it go. That was reason enough to live, no matter how much you saved. Anything else is gravy. It’s hard to feel that way most days but it’s a lot better than the alternative.