John Bronzina, I
think you could save me.
You have green eyes
and have completed
your training for CPR
for children and adults.
John, I am in the latter
category, and though
my breathing is fine
now, things change rapidly.
You know this because you
have a card for emergency
roadside service. John,
it is expired. You
have a dental appointment
in six days. Don’t
miss it. You have
credit cards and debit
cards and what you do
at the Lemming Emporium
is your business. But I
wonder: What were you doing
when you lost that wallet?
When I found it, I’d stopped
my car on Ocean View to look
at a house being built on stilts.
It’s behind a fence that says
KEEP OUT. Nearby there’s a pile
of beer cans and I wonder
if you had something
to do with that. Maybe
you sat back under the scrub
pines getting drunk with friends
or on your own. Maybe you
were imagining you lived there,
that you’d gotten locked out and
were waiting for your wife
or your boyfriend
or both of them to let you in.
That’s what life is, John—people
opening. You know this, you
live in Connecticut. You know
the president and CEO
of the Invisible Bridge Corporation.
His card is in your wallet. Maybe
you applied for a job there. Maybe
you got it. I had a job once
at Tollbooths of America, but
they let me go. Or more accurately,
I preferred the short-term pain
of leaving to the long-term injury
of staying in one place. What
are your goals, John Bronzina?
Do you think about how you’ll feel
when you get where you’re
headed? I never think about a place
until I’ve left it. Things
take time, John. You’ll come
to understand that. You have
a birthday coming up. You’ll
be twenty-five. On your
driver’s license, you’re trying
to smile. You’re an organ
donor. Parts of you may
one day spill into others,
the way your wallet
tumbled from you, the
way your cards and badges
and cash flew into the bazaar
of salt air and sea grasses
where there’s nothing
to buy or sell, just another
trespasser in soft sand
struggling for what we
sometimes—where I
come from—call purchase.