Feb 11, 2004

Devil deals the cards, but you're welcome to play

Half my friends think I'm dying.

The other half look at me, pretending to hide the caged feeling in their eyes, asking themselves why they can't hang it all, asking themselves "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

"So Dan," he says, "If I quit school tomorrow?"
"Well," he says, "if you go to Philly. . . "

I call a friend to tell him the news and he interrupts with laughter. "Damn it," he says, "why is everything you do so cool?"

It isn’t, of course, and neither am I, but the stories are cool and I know that and know how to play for the story. My sister says I have more stories of running out of money than anyone she knows, and it’s not like I’ve run out of money many more times than your average broke person. I was just the one who ran out of money by throwing my last five cents into a Smithsonian fountain.

It’s just a little flash, a gesture for the sake of the story, a little aggression and a little absurdity.

Consider this bastard stoicism: There’s nothing you can decide about life except how to tell the story.

New e-mail (though the old one still works for now): daniel_silliman@yahoo.com.