Be Careful of Where You’re Going
Have you heard of the Chinese proverb, the one that says, “if you continue the road you’re on, you will get to where you’re headed?” I suppose it’s the same as we in the West say, “be careful what you wish for because you may get it.” Voilà, we have here an indisputable case of East meeting West, don’t you think? Say, “yes, yes, yes.”
See, it wasn’t so difficult to say so, was it?
I have written about me and you in “story” after “story”, “essay” after “essay”. The tone is sad, bleak, dreary, negative, and depressing. There are no cheerful notes. In my writings, people are nasty, brutish, and ugly. They are vain, ignorant, and dumb. The way I look at the human species, there are only three groupings: the ones who deceive others, the ones who deceive themselves, and the ones who realize the first two are not quite human and in fact should be lumped together with the lower animals.
Of course, I regarded myself as a member of the third grouping. I also happened to think that to see things in full light one had to live through darkness first. So I haunted the libraries, walked the streets, made friends with the homeless and that was among whom I met her, standing in line for free coffee and donuts in one frigid early January morning in front of the Catholic Mission on Washington Street in North Las Vegas.
She was white, but everything on her was black. The hair, the hat, the scarf, the coat, the jeans, the purse, the shoes. She stood out in white blinding sunshine of winter morning in the long line of drab, gray, brown, motley crowd. I stood behind her. She was reading a book. Curious, I asked her what she was reading. Silently and with a touch of disdain, she showed me the book’s cover. It was “Ecce Homo” in English translation, a work I had read several times, and I told her so. And we started talking.
-Why a nice lady like you doing here?
-First, how do you know I am nice? Second, my standing here is none of your business. You’re my father or something? What’s about you? You don’t look homeless and desperate for handouts. Why are you here?
-Wow, touche’ and touchy at the same time. Very good (from experience, you must soften them first with flattery. All women, especially the young ones, think that they’re both tough and sensitive, that they’re bitches with a heart). Lady, I just make conversation. It’s not everyday occurrence that I run into a sharply dressed, nice looking young lady with a liking for Nietzsche, standing in line in front of the Mission. I just feel excited and gloriously happy that I met you. You are right. I am not homeless, at least not yet (I burst out chuckling). I’m here for yes, a free stale donut and a coffee, but also to get a taste of standing in line and observing my brothers struggling with survival and dignify.
-Cut out the crap. You’re here for the freebies, and none of the sociological and anthropological bullshit. You’re taking away food that belongs to more deserving people. Shame on you! Go away! Get lost!
By that time, several brothers of mine told her to shut up, that she had no right to speak to me like that, that there were plenty of donated stale donouts and cheap coffee for everyone, including her. I told them she was just kidding, testing the boundary, feeling me out. One of them said, “yeah, honey, I want to feel you, right now”. I quickly inserted myself between her and him, and firmly but gently told him to take things easy. Luckily for me, a security guard showed up and told everyone to behave and keep quiet, otherwise he had to eject the offenders from the line.
I expectedly that she would march out of the line in a huff, but she didn’t. She was back to reading her book. I kept my mouth shut, feeling amused. I was not offended by her rudeness. She was angry for some reason, very likely not caused by me. I had not done anything wrong, not really. I left her alone until we got to the table upon which were placed boxes of donuts and containers of coffee. She took one glazed donut, a coffee with neither sugar nor cream, and coolly proceeded to sit down at a long table to enjoy her breakfast. I came over to the table, gave her a piece of paper, and said, “excuse me once again, I hate to bother you, but if you change your mind, here’s my cell number, I would love to hear from you. You have a good day now. Bye. Very nice meeting you.”
I walked into the bright sunshine. My senses were on fire. I was aflame with a clear realization life was more often than not a series of serendipities and chance occurrences, and I must be ready, unappeasably ready, for them. I couldn’t afford to have an emotional shutout; I must not mislay any claim to moral distance. But at all times, however, I must maintain a solid grip on, not a phantasmagorical sense of, reality, as I had seen so many weak-minded folks do. I had a strange and excited feeling that she would call me. Not right away, but she would. At the same time, if she didn’t, I still felt happy, momentarily and gloriously happy, simply I ran into her, a reader of Nietzsche. I could not tell you how many times the book she was holding in her hands, and whose words she was taking in, had sustained me and helped me pass through many difficult nights.
I walked two blocks east and got on the bus to take me south to the Strip where most of Vegas’ swank casinos are located. Being Saturday, Las Vegas Boulevard’s sidewalks were already filled with tourists who looked happy like kids in the Disneyland. Yes, Vegas is the playground for grown-ups to seek fun, excitement, vicarious thrills and adventures via money. Some have the stupid audacity to dream that they may score big and their lives will change for the better. Like moths to flame, people with rocks in their brains and lust in their loins flock to this Mecca of sex, drugs, gambling, foods and drinks, and excellent night clubs and shows.
I walked into Aria Casino, a centerpiece of an avant-garde architectural and allegedly futuristic urban agglomeration of condos, hotels, shopping malls and art galleries. I headed for the poker room, my hunting ground for fun-seeking tourists. These well-heeled folks helped me supplement my income and maintain my middle class cognomen.
Poker attracts all kinds of players who think they are smart and can think People who like to take risks and love excitement also flock to the game. So at the poker table, a wide range of humanity assemble and duke it out for supremacy. Only the best hand wins. Coming in consistently at second place at showdowns is a financial disaster and a blow to one conception’s of oneself. There is no other human adventure where a man’s true nature is laid bare for him and others to see. It is an activity where lying to others is acceptable but lying to oneself is disastrous. Poker, properly played and managed, can be a good builder of character, not counting bankroll.
Poker has exerted on the imagination of the public and has its own myths and mythos. It can be played as a recreational game, a gambling pursuit, or as a deadly mind contact sport where honor, fortune or bankruptcy are at stake. It is a social equalizer. At the poker table, the social status doesn’t mean diddly shit; neither does money because if one plays poorly in a gambling way without a good grasp of mathematical probability, the nature of luck (good and bad), understanding of the human mind regarding courage, saving face, pain threshold, self-control, and money management, the money would not last and will migrate to those who initially had less money.
I left the poker room about 5 pm, a few hundred dollars more in my wallet than when I came in. As I was heading out to the bus stop to get back to my condo, I experienced a feeling of small triumph and conquest, a slightly drunken state of being a winner, an affirmation of my self-conception that I was indeed better and smarter than most folks who waged a mental contest with me. I knew my place in the world. I was not greedy. I didn’t play at the level where the losses would cripple me financially and send me in a downward trajectory to being a permanent street inhabitant. A man must know his limitations and be comfortable as to who he is. It’s not so much the monkeys and assholes think who I am as who I think I am. I am the one who determines what my reality is, no matter what the fucking yahoos and stupid ignoramuses, the ones who constantly lie to save their ugly faces, “think”. Faced with incontrovertible evidence and arguments that they are ignorant and stupid, instead of accepting the facts and truths, they resort to more lyings and cheap insinuations in order to cover up their ignorance and their stupidity. To me, they are fucking and fucked-up animals deserving to be exterminated like vermin. Yet, ironically they talk about and harp on shame and dignity as if they possessed them in abundance. They think the people around them are too stupid to know of their true nature. I have solid reasons to lump those assholes and motherfuckers in the same category of animals. I know how certain individuals in history viewed them—the mental, emotional and intellectual weaklings who fancied that they were humans, who believed in prayers and in a personal “God” who “listened” to their entreaties. As I said before, those who deceive others and themselves are not fit to be considered humans. To be human is to face facts and truths, not to run away from them and then hide behind fictions like God, heaven, afterlife, and reincarnation. To run away from facts and truths is to act like a coward. Acting like a coward is to be a coward. Our actions determine who we are, not what we say who we are. Words mean nothing. Anybody who can speak can say whatever they want. What matters is we must back up our words with concrete actions, not with more words.
The sun was going down as I was waiting for the bus. Winds were picking up; scraps of torn porn ads fluttered and swirled on the sidewalk near the bus stop. The sky was covered with long stripes of rust, orange and purple in the west. Bright city lights and neon signs were on. The day was cooling rapidly. I felt chilled. I stood up and shuffled my feet and raised my arms up and down to elevate the body heat. I looked ridiculous but I didn’t give a fuck. I never cared much for public opinion.
After I got home, I changed into gym clothes and went downstairs to the exercise room in my building. I went through the routine of stretching and weight training for about 30 minutes and then headed to the nearby swimming pool. I swam for about an hour in a leisurely manner, letting my mind drift to wherever it wanted to go. I thought of the girl in black, wondering if she would ever call, of the assholes and my plans for them, of the necessity of taciturnity, of my new physique.
When I got back to my condo, I checked the phone and was mildly disappointed that there was no call from her. In fact, there was no call from anybody, not that I received many calls anyway. Apart from my spouse, sisters, and son, nobody else called me except the once-a-month from CVS for anti-cholesterol medicine refill, phone marketers ( I really felt sorry for them. A tough way to make a living. I wondered how constant rejection would affect their psyche), head hunters, escort service recruiters, and late night callers from the Lonely Heart Club.
I didn’t go back to the Catholic Mission to check if she would be there. I was prideful. Pride was something I had plenty of. It both hurt and helped me. I had a big ego. I fancied that I was superior to 98% of the humans on this planet especially when it came to philosophy, thinking, logic, and intellectual courage. So I walked around feeling both superior and humble at the same time. I was a walking contradictions. There were constant wars inside me. There were no integration, no resolution, no harmony, no peace. Only constant churning and chaos. I was a primordial soup of restless creation.
She held out for ten days. By that time, I already gave up on her and started having an eye on the Somalian neighbor who just moved in a few days before. I normally did not care for ladies of dark complexion, but somehow I was partial to women from Ethiopia and Somalia. To me, these women were darkly attractive for being tall and having finely chiseled facial features and voluptuous bodies.
The call came in exactly at midnight. I almost didn’t pick it up. I was asleep. But in the end, curiosity got the better of me after looking at the unfamiliar Vegas number on the cell phone screen. A female voice was on.
-Hi, we met while standing in line for donuts. You gave me your number. Are you still up?
-Oh, hi there (I had the presence of mind to raise my voice a bit for enthusiasm though I was annoyed at the ungodly hour). Yes, I remember. How are you?
-Not too good. That was why I called. Can you talk?
-Of course! Certainly! ( I am trying hard to work up the enthusiasm. There are times you’ve got to stoop to conquer. Fuck Pride for now. I just have to sleep late to make up for lost time). What’s going on?
-I don’t know. I need somebody to talk to ( Jesus! You have nobody else? Why me? Why at this hour? You must be really sick).
-I’m all ears. What’s your name?
-Angie. And yours?
– Roberto is my name. Listening is my game. Shoot!
-I want to tell you I felt bad after you left. I was rude and that was uncalled for.
-That’s all right. Don’t worry about it. You certainly must have had a bad day.
-Yes, I did. But I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. I apologize.
-That’s okay. Really. How’s the book? Did you finish it?
-Yes, I’m now into “Twilight of the Idols”.
-Excellent choice. It and “Ecce Homo” are the more accessible among Nietzshe’s works . Now please tell me why you’re reading Nietzsche. You must have already read his most famous, “Thus spoke Zarathustra”.
-Yes, I have. It is like poetry in prose. Somebody told me to get stronger, I must read Nietzsche.
-Are you getting stronger?
-But what, may I ask?
– A long story.
-You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. We just met.
-Some other time.
-Fine with me (with young women, you shouldn’t be pushy, not right away. Good things come to those who wait).
I was not surprised at what she said next. It was not my first rodeo with young women.
-I know it’s late (now you’re telling me!) Could we continue the conversation another time?
-Sure, whenever you like, Angie. Should I call you or…
-It’d be better if I call, if it’s all right with you. Good night.
-Sleep tight. And please take good care of yourself.
Then I clicked off my cell with a smile on my face. I was in the driver’s seat. I knew it, but I wondered if she knew it, too. Regardless, it made no difference to me if she called back. I was not smitten by her (she was aggressively rude, not really my cup of tea). It was Nietzsche’s book that intrigued me. I soon slept tight, with no noticeable dreams to recall, straight through to the next morning when the sun almost got quite high in the sky as I parted the bedroom window curtain upon waking up. Spring Mountain was to my west, covered with snow in the summit. Downtown was to the left of me. And the south was where planes were landing and taking off into the azure, cloudless winter sky. I loved Vegas in the winter. Cool, crisp, and invigorating during the day. And great sleeping weather at night.
I took the shower, got dressed, then called the poker room at Aria to reserve a seat. I had the feeling I would have another wining session. Life was good. I put the Chinese vocabulary book into my backpack and rode the elevator down to the street level.
In the following four weeks, Angie would call me intermittently at all and odd hours and always at night to discuss Nietzsche, Hemingway, Wolven, philosophy, and literature. She never once asked me to call her. I didn’t really care. I liked the game enough to see how it worked out. Besides, nothing delighted me as much as having a youngster who seemed to defer to me when I held court. It was not so much vanity as the all-too-human need to communicate and share my thoughts.
I spoke at length about things and issues and subjects that were bothering me a great deal.
I told her God is a necessary fiction for most people, especially the weak, the ignorant, and the stupid. I pointed out to her the important role of philosophy insofar as truths, knowledge, and values are concerned. Most monkeys and assholes love power, but they fail to see that because of their ignorance in matters of philosophy, they let the so-called religious and other thinkers have power over them in making them what and how to think. Values like money, power, fame, prestige, morals, and public opinion don’t mean shit to the one who really knows how to think and to live his short alloted life on this planet. That’s where Nietzsche comes in handy. The dude had so many insights on so many things and he expressed them in a pithy and concise and yet so poetic way that one couldn’t help but be staggered by them. A few examples would be sufficient in illustrating the true power of thoughts:
-It’s hard to live with men because silence is difficult. (I pointed out to Angie that I was a mere lad of 18 when I came across this powerful statement, and I always remember it when I run into stupid assholes and ignorant scumbags who ironically love to pontificate on matters they don’t have a fucking clue.)
-If you look into the abyss long enough, it will look back at you.
-When we figure out the why, we will come up with the how to live.
-What does not destroy us makes us stronger
-Don’t die before your time. Die a timely death.
I urged her to read short stories written by Hemingway and Scott Wolven where the issue of grace under pressure and the subject of courage and cowardice were examined. I told her we are what we read, not what we say we are. Words, in particular lying words, are cheap and mean nothing. Nobody believes them, except the liars who lie to themselves.
As time went on, she stopped dropping wisecracks to my outpouring of thoughts and feelings. I would even venture a bold observation that she listened spellbound. The issue of timely death apparently fascinated her. She kept steering our conversations toward the subject. Then one night, out of the blue, lightning struck and thunder boomed. I felt that I had to pose a question: “You are not thinking of killing yourself or somebody, are you?”
She said nothing to my inquiry. She just clicked the phone off. I should have called her back there and then, but I didn’t. I was not in love with her. To me, she was just an one-person audience upon whom I unloaded my thoughts which were filling my cranium to the brim.
Then three days later, in another gorgeous, sun-drenched, beautiful winter Saturday morning exactly 6 weeks after we had met, she cheerfully called me up and asked me out on a date that very morning! She had never called me during the day. She asked me where I lived and then told me to be out in front of my building in 45 minutes. “Dress nice, but not too nice,” she added.
I put on my black outfit: jeans and dress black shirt over a black T-shirt, my jade amulet with black chain dangling over the T-shirt, black loafers with black socks. Unsurprisingly, my lady in black arrived in the same outfit I first saw her 6 weeks prior.
She drove a black Lexus, and stopped abruptly in front of the condo building with a squealing of brakes that made me jump. I approached the car and hardly got in the front passenger seat when she took off like a bat out of hell. I promptly fastened the seat belt, nervous like shit, but trying to be cool. I said, “you must love speed. Are you on speed, my dear”. ‘Fuck yes! want some?”. “Hell no!”, I quickly replied. “Where we are going?” “My place”. Surprised once more, I looked at her. Despite make-up, she looked rather pale and thinner than before. Didn’t I mention she looked in her early 30′s and quite attractive? I must also say I loved her dressing in black. She looked stylish, alluring and captivating.
She lived in Turnberry Condo on Karen Avenue, a block east of the Vegas Strip, not far at all from where I lived. I could walk from my place to hers within 45 minutes. Her unit was on the 22nd floor, facing west, affording a breath-taking view of West Vegas. Compared to her unit, mine was cheap.
“Make yourself at home. The drinks are in the fridge. Take whatever you want. Lunch should be ready in about an hour.”
I was normally a chatter box and was not above posing prying questions, but with her I was being discreet and circumspect. The only personal question I had put to her was my wondering regarding her fascination with timely death, which prompted her rude clicking off the phone and staying away from me for three days. Now her sudden turn-around of being extra-friendly should be a perfect excuse for me to make inquiry about her personal life, but I refrained from doing so. I willed myself in maintaining an emotional distance from her and letting her dictate the terms and nature of our relationship. She was a mystery. I normally didn’t care for things which were mysterious, but with her I made an exception, maybe I didn’t really know what and how she thought of me. I was a married man for a long time even though I had a serial quasi-romantic relationships with women of all ages. My heart was a lonely, sad hunter. Through pains, hurts, and disappointments, I had learned that women were a dangerous, cunning, manipulative, ruthless species and should be approached with utmost care, especially for a person at my age. There was no bigger fool than an old fool.
I didn’t take anything out of the fridge. I just took a tour of the condo after asking her if it was okay to do so. She said cheerfully, “Go ahead, sweetie, I told you, ‘make yourself at home’”.
In the living room, on the credenza there were pictures of her and her parents. On the wall hung two photos of nature: one color of sunset, one black and white of wintry scene. Books and CDs and DVD movies on the bookshelf. Books on sociology, history, and philosophy; CDs heavy on folk rock; movies were actions and thrillers, no comedies. I noticed a bottle of Bordeaux being chilled in a stainless bucket of ice, a small vase of freshly cut red roses, and two settings for two on the dining table off the kitchen. Sound of bubbling brook wafted from the speakers on the wall.
I asked her if I could be of any help in the kitchen. She laughed and told me to relax and that everything was taken care of.
We started with mixed green salad, cumber, red onions, burgundy olives and roman tomato in oil and red vinegar. Then we proceeded to New York medium rare steak, sautéed in garlic butter, and a side dish of baby carrots and baked potatoes topped with sour cream and chives. I did most of the drinking. We indulged in freshly baked apple à la mode for dessert.
We ate slowly and it was she who did most of the prying. I told her of my vocation (insurance underwriting which elicited a delight from her and a disclosure that she used to be a claims adjuster for Farmers Insurance and her father was a big shot in the company headquarters in Los Angeles. When I asked her what she was doing now, she just wryly smiled and said, “later”) and avocation (language learning, poetry, and poker). The subject of poker fascinated her. She wondered if I was a gambler and an addict. I assured her that I was not.
-Angie, I take risks, calculated risks, but I am not a gambler, definitely not. I don’t want to be like those homeless guys we saw standing in front of the Mission a few weeks ago.
-But do you make money, though? Enough to be worth your while?
-No, I just make chump change to supplement my income. Poker is an outlet for me to be sociable, meeting people. Besides, it is a good character builder. To win, I must understand the human mind and exercise emotional control over myself.
She then told me she saw me standing at a bus stop one day and wanted to stop and give me a lift, but she didn’t because she didn’t want to give me a wrong idea. I chuckled and said,
-I dare not have a wrong idea about you or anybody. I know myself and my place in this world. I don’t have an inflated sense of self as most assholes and scumbags and motherfuckers I have met in my lousy life do.
-Whoa, I touched on a raw nerve, didn’t I?
-Not really, I read philosophy and what’s the point of acquiring a discipline in thinking and reasoning and ending up being blind as to who I am.
-So, you’re saying that you have not been attracted to me?
-No, no, no, I am not saying that, not at all. But be realistic, you are young, very attractive, and apparently a person of means. I am assuming you own this nice condo which easily could fetch mid six figures or higher, even in today’s market. I am a late middle-aged man. Some even say I am an old man (which prompted a protest, “No, no, you don’t look your age. Not at all. You could easily pass for 50) , live in a rented condo, and don’t even have a car.
-But you can have a car if you want, right? You can afford one, right?
-Sure, I can, but public transportation in this town is excellent. And if I need to get somewhere for a few days, I just rent a car from HotWire Deals, at really reasonable rates. I am a simple man and I live a life of simplicity.
-No, you are no simple man.
I helped her with the dishes. Then we retired to the living room and did more talking. She was never married. Nobody would measure up to her, nobody would be near her father in ability. She then said I looked like her father in several ways: the smile, the laughter, and the intensity of feelings, the passions! She then asked about my spouse and all the women that went through my life with the kind of utmost seriousness that compelled me to answer her inquiries in detail, warts and all. As she was listening to whatever my love life was, she kept saying, “poor Roberto” (Yeah, yeah, woe was me). Then she complained of being tired and sleepy. I took it as a hint for me to get lost, so I stood up and said thanks for the nice meal and the wonderful time I had. But as I headed to the door, she said, “Please stay.” Surprised, I stood in my track and came back to her, “Are you sure?” I breathlessly asked. She stood up from the couch, took my hand, and said, “Definitely! Let’s take a nap together.” I then told her before I did that, there was one thing I had to do, “What’s that? Calling somebody for permission or asking God for forgiveness?”. ”Wrong on both counts. If it’s not much a bother, I need to brush my teeth after a meal and I wonder if you have a spare toothbrush.”
She slept like a proverbial baby, snuggling close to me. I did not. I just closed my eyes and told myself that I was dreaming while listening to her intermittent snoring. We didn’t have sex because I was too nervous and mystified. She was certainly sexy enough.
When she woke up, the sun was going down. She went to the bathroom and when she came back, she was bald. Then she said, melodramatically of course, that time for more real talk.
“I’m having cancer. Very serious stuff. It’s spreading. I’m tired of the treatment. It makes me sick. It drains my Dad’s money. I want to die, on my own terms. I’m my father’s only child, very spoiled. My mother died of the same thing. Dad remarried shortly thereafter. I don’t care for his wife who’s a bitch. I’m sure she’s real happy at my dying. She couldn’t wait. All the inheritance money due to me would go to her, I suppose, assuming they stay married. Dad loves the bitch, though. I care about you. Thank you so much for listening to me and being patient with me and for sharing your knowledge of Nietzsche, Hemingway, and Wolven with me. The last few weeks have meant a lot to me. I was stronger and less scared and less lonely because of you. I really wish I were not sick. I really wish I had met you sooner. But that’s life. Full of ironies. I have money but don’t have a long life, but the homeless people have no money and they seem to live forever. I went to the Mission to see, taste and smell the ironies of life. Why did you go there ? (Angie, almost the same reason as yours, to appreciate the light, I need to experience darkness). Today is the last time we met. I am going to LA to be near my father. I told him about you. He asked to say hello. Movers will come tomorrow morning. I’m donating almost all my stuff to Goodwill. Please, I have something for you. I want you to keep them as reminders of me. Come!”
She took my hand and let me to the dressers, pulled out a drawer, and took out a box, gift wrapped. Then she said, “let me drive you home” and would not take no for an answer when I told her I could walk home. We were both silent during the short drive. She drove much more slowly this time. At the driveway in front of my building, she leaned over and gave me a long strong kiss. She then said, “Be strong, my friend. Take good care of yourself. I love you!” I cried. She did not. And she drove away, without looking back, without pressing the horn. Those were the last words I heard from her.
I staggered inside and rode the elevator up to my unit in stupor and bewilderment. I opened the door and collapsed in the couch in the living room. The Strip was lit up, like a Christmas tree, as usual. Far out west and up high, stars were out in full force. I looked at the box which was now lying next to me. I shook it up. It made some strange, muffled voice. I gasped and tears welled up in my eyes when I opened it. “Ecce Homo” on top, then two bundles of cash, each was tied with a bank sticker saying $10,000, and then all sorts of rings and bracelets. I took out my cell phone and dialed, but she didn’t pick it up. I left her a message, “Angie, you’re an angel of mine. Thanks so much for caring”. I looked at the weather beaten “Ecce Homo”, opened it and on the first page were the words, “To my friend and my teacher. I wish we met sooner. Love, Angie.”
Life was full of ironies, all right. First, Harriet. Now, Angie. The only two women, besides my own mother, who really cared about me, both died soon after I met them. Sixteen days after our only meeting and lunch date, a letter bearing a postmark from LA arrived in the mail. I looked at the return address. It said Roberto Sanchez, 2222 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. I opened the letter.
“Dear Mr. Ngo,
With much sorrow and regret and a broken heart, I thought I should let you know that my daughter was no longer in this world. She talked about you all the time. Thanks for being there for her during the most difficult time of her life. Per her instructions and insistence, attached is the title to her car which has been assigned to you. Please contact me…”
I stopped reading. And my heart stopped feeling lonely. And I felt peace. Somebody cared, at last.
April 24, 2013