There aren't enough drugs to make me feel better.


I go to one of my usual haunts. The guy who works there is an artist in his other life. He paints. We exchange the usual "how's it going," "what's new" stuff. But he's a good guy, interesting. A little younger than I am, but he's been around the wheel a few times, as Erik once put it. So, the guy is grinning. There's a little extra kick to the two-tone hair. It's standing up straighter, maybe. I ask him how his painting is going. He says it's good. Still grinning. I ask him, so what else is going on? He says he's learning some new social skills. I take this as a positive sign, and I say so to him. If we can learn social skills late in life... He says he hasn't practiced these skills since college. I'm lost. He hasn't dated since college? Maybe I don't understand "social skills." He's still grinning. I let it go. I make my purchase. Another person behind the counter heads toward us. My friend looks up and quietly asks, "Have you ever seen a movie called "Threesome?" I start to try to remember who was in it. "With one of those 'Twin Peaks' actresses?" But that's not the point. I stop. He starts to speak, stops. I say. "You don't have to say anything. That smile..." The other salesperson moves the conversation in another direction. I eventually leave. A grin on my face. There's hope. sonofabitch.

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