I went outside with John Coltrane, my portable speaker and a beer. Most of that good Irish cheese had gotten moldy but I ate around the bad parts. Mom sent an email photo of a tissue she blew blood into and it turned my stomach, I had to delete it. I was having a hard time focusing during the interviews we conducted at work. That challenge of being present with the responses and anticipating the next question, I kept slipping out. We ordered a pizza again because it was Friday night and that meant I could have a cocktail, my go-to Negroni. The grapefruit I used for garnish had spirals cut across it from the last three or four weeks, that spiraled pattern from the 1970s on a rubber ball or balloon. For hours I’d sit on the floor as a kid playing with one of our cats bouncing a ball against the door, and she’d reach out and snag it every time with her claws. I was an only child and that explains a lot, the self-absorption. We watched the movie As Good As It Gets and I wondered if that Jack Nicholson character was in my future. I knew where everything was in the garage with my eyes closed, repeated the same steps most days for the comfort of routine. And recalled the last time I watched that in 1998, the walk home afterwards. A dark path from a house in southern France to a condo on the beach, impossible. I built a fire and the kids sat by it for a time, baited by marshmallow and chocolate. They went inside and the fire grew lonesome and I went up to the horseshoe pit and played games with myself, a bit buzzed. I put the hose in the shrubs and set the tension on low and the music combined down with the hissing of the hose, the crackle of the fire and the peeping sounds all around. Everything settled in. I got bit but didn’t care. I felt alive for once.