I talk to myself when I feel awkward. I say the things that I want to say to the people involved (past or present) in my life, and then I feel more awkward as I remind myself that only I can hear my voice.

I’ve stepped foot on three continents. I’ve walked in the cities of ten countries. I’ve seen most of the fifty states. San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, D.C., New York, Vancouver, Atlanta, Montreal, Quebec, London, Babylon, Geneva, Berlin, Munchen, Koln, Baghdad and Ur are familiar to me. I’ve met a thousand faces. I’ve forgotten most of them. I’ve climbed mountains, weathered storms inside flimsy tents and the cold, hard ground in German winters. I’ve been to war. I watched men die. I’ve won a marathon, written a book and seen it published, sailed a boat, taught myself to program, ridden a rollercoaster, fished, hiked, drank, driven, sung a song to a pretty girl, lit a fire, fired a gun, dreamed, crashed, converted, regressed, loved and loved and loved and failed.

I failed to finish a novel. I failed to keep all my promises. I failed to be always honest. I failed to finish what I set out to do. I failed to show up on time, to remain always faithful, to keep my integrity, to pray, to listen, to answer, to forgive, to help when I was able. I take copious amounts of psychotropic medication in the attempt to achieve normality.

I’ve learned to like every cuisine on the planet. I’ve learned to love the environment. I’ve learned to distrust most of what I hear. I learned to cook, to clean, to write, to ignore, to trust, to nurture things living and dead. I can do anything I put my mind to. Most of these things I don’t do well. I’m extremely attractive. Fantastic in bed. I kiss well. I have great taste in music, better taste in films. I’m moderately well read. I’m physically fit, or I used to be. I have a great sense of humor. I tell stories, and I tell them well. I have depth.

It’s all true. Every word of it.

None of it has anything to do with who I am.