On shuffle: Marianne Faithfull, Marianne Faithfull, Lisa Loeb, Ice-T. I am happy, I am so happy.

The music I want is playing on the stereo, and he’s not complaining. We’re gliding to the grocery store, without a joint, ’cause we’re trying to cut back. I’m so happy, and he’s fine, and I picture throwing open the door and rolling into traffic.

I picture my top half being crushed under the 18 wheels of the semi we pass, my bottom half by a nondescript station wagon behind. Maybe 4 cars hit me before anyone know what’s happening. It’s bright red and gray and someone screams.

No; I am so happy. I wub back into myself and blame it on a fictional character, a new fictional character. He wants to kill himself. I am happy.

My insides fill up with ice and perfumed brandy, and the red itch in my eyes holds back the flood. We take the exit onto Jackson. We aren’t smoking and this time I get to give the vet with the sign a dollar. It’s folded over lots and smells of wallet.

“Thank you, you have a blessed day,” he says.

“Thanks, you too,” I say. We glide away and “London Calling” comes on. “Thanks’ shuffle,” I say, and turn it up.

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