“It wasn’t them. It’s me. I ruin everything. Have you ever looked inside my car? It’s all old phone bills and spilled McDonald’s Cokes. I can’t catch up with myself. I’m underwater. I promise to do something simple, like walk those dogs, but then I remember another promise I made, and another one on top of that, so I make up a list with boxes and little checkmarks, but before I can finish it my pen runs dry, so I run off to find a pen, and then it’s quitting time. Pretty soon things have piled up so high I have to call in sick to clear my head, and when I come back they’re all angry at me, furious, so instead of buckling down, I run and hide. And it isn’t just work I’m talking about. It’s everything. It’s breathing. It’s sleeping. It’s feelings. Does this make sense?”
My parents had lied. They’d taught me we lived in the best place in the world, but I could see now that the world was really one place and that comparing its parts did not make sense or gain our town any advantage over others.