Well, see, now there’s the problem because I have no friggin’ idea what I really, really want. I don’t even have an idea of what I should want or could want. Life’s a bitch, then you die. That’s my motto. Or same shit, different day.
Because nothing ever changes for me. I work at my miserable minimum wage job, get harassed by customers and bosses alike, eat food that makes me feel sick. I come home to this crummy smelly one room and watch snowy TV while I drink the two brews I can afford.
I’ve been doing this for almost thirty years and I’m sick to death of it. I need someone to see through the mess and figure out what I do want, what I really, really want. And then I need to figure out how to get it.
There’s a psychic down the street and for three nights I forego my brews and save enough money for a half hour session with her. I figure I’ll start with her. She’s beautiful and she smells like a million bucks – whatever she tells me, I’m doing. She tells me to stop sitting on my ass, to go back to school – for what, I ask her. She says anything is better than what you’ve got, right? She tells me to get my hair cut and keep my clothes clean. She tells me to start living as if I believe in myself and my ability to have what I really, really want.
If I do, she says, it will happen. “Come back in three months,” she says, “that session is free.”
I do what she says. I go to the Carnegie Center and ask them what courses I can take. “I don’t have much money,” I say, and they say not to worry. I decide on a carpentry course. I’ve always wanted to work with my hands. They help me fill out the apprenticeship forms – and even though I’m thirty years older than most apprentices, no one laughs at me. They point me in the direction of a place to get good clothes, a place to get my hair cut. And I do.
And every morning now I get up and I go to school and then I go to work. I’m working harder than I have in my life and I’m loving it. I can hardly wait until my three months are up.
Finally, I walk into her storefront and she smiles that million dollar smile at me. “Can I help you?” she asks.
“You already have,” I say and I tell her my story. I see a look in her eyes I haven’t seen in a woman’s eyes for many, many years and she says yes when I ask her out for a cup of coffee.
Now I know what I really, really want.
(Last year in February I decided that I would write a postcard story every single day. I made it until February 22, I think, but some of them were pretty darn good. This is one of my favourites. I think I might do that again.)