I worked in an office in Austin. I only took the job because I was living off white rice and I had to pay for a lawyer to get my cats back. I faked my way through a year of braindead nothing. Or rather I just didn’t talk much and nodded along when they told me stuff.

Three weeks before I left for California I had a sort of breakdown at my desk. I wrote my boss a little note and left it on my monitor saying I had to go home because I couldn’t function anymore. I walked outside the campus, across the lawn of immaculate sod, and went into a nearby cluster of trees. I took my shirt off and leaned against a tree in the shade. I called my friend. My friend didn’t pick up. I left a message saying I just needed to talk to someone for a few minutes. They sent me a message containing three words: “I’m sorry Ryan.” A little green insect landed on my hand and I watched it for a few minutes until it flew away.

I drove home. I walked to Speedway Grocery. I bought a six-pack of Lone Star. The guy behind the register carded me for the 500th time. I walked home. It was maybe 3 p.m. I drank all those beers in probably 20 minutes. I went to sleep. The sun was still out. I woke up three hours later and threw up and then went back to sleep.