This is an earlier draft of a piece that appears in my collection of essays and other random stuff, Raised by Turtles: A Book in American. Some day, I will take the final version and reformat it and paste it in here, but for now it is only available in print for
$4.95 $6.44 (I guess inflation has hit Amazon too – I can’t make it cheaper as there is already no profit in that price).
I can’t sleep. It’s 3am. What’s it all for? What’s the point?
I remember reading that when the economy is bad, single-vehicle accidents rise. People drive into bridge abutments. Accidents, they call them.
I pick up the phone and put it down. It’s too late to call someone. I think about bridge abutments some more. I need to get outside my own head.
I pick up the phone again. I have to talk to someone, but I can’t wake someone up at 3am, no matter what.
I’m tired of thinking of bridge abutments. I punch in the number. It rings. Once. Twice. Three times. I should hang up. Four times. No answer. Fuck it. Bridge abutments again. Five times. Christ it’s late. Hang up. Hang up. Hang up.
A groggy, hoarse, confused voice answers. “Hello?”
“Ty, it’s Ken. Sorry to wake you up. I just really need to talk to someone.”
“Hey. Uh. I… hey… yeah… uh, no problem. I was, uh, up anyway. Couldn’t sleep. What’s up? How can I help?”