Dusk. The contrast of the lights on the new dark was beckoning me on again this evening. I drove past neon loops and highlighted rectangles with all of their letters missing or jumbled into new meanings. “Eat Here” replaced with “Leave Here “. “Travelodge” with “Get Reloaded”. “Stop ‘N’ GO” with “Go”. An entire freeway corridor trying to wrap its dotted white arms around me – pull me on into the night. I can’t blame her efforts though, the thick spell that sticks to your desires and the precious rarity of sunset coloring and coastal breezes made my foot press just a little harder on the gas pedal. Southbound.

I do this all the time. But when I’m just about to pass my exit I notice that my right hand has depressed the turn signal and I stare at that five fingered bastard in shock. Tonight was no exception.

I have two friends who are currently recovering from several prolonged steroid cycles. They associate with one another more than me and feed off each other’s depression. Tonight I learned that one of them was kicked out of his home for striking his roommate and that he had made a suicide pact with the other. All of this in the pursuit of the bigger, better, larger, faster. I should have taken them on an evening car ride with me instead.

My mother turned fifty nine years old today. My sister and I bought her a lawnmower and took her out for a BBQ dinner. Until that point I had no idea she had seen so much. Apparently, from her expression during her birthday ceremonies, neither did she. I made a pact with her that I would commit one million good deeds before I died. She actually looked at me and said that sharing this birthday with her was one million and one. Old gal can still make a grown man teary-eyed. Yup.