'I'm Feeling Lucky'

Lisa Gorsuch


I type. I take a sip of tea. It's cold.

I'm cold. What bastard thought up February, anyway? Some Roman, long dead. Not long enough: He's gone, but February's still around.

I open a browser and type your name into the search engine. Pathetic, but not on par with a stalker. I haven't seen you in 10 years. A stalker would have more ambition.

Your name scrolls down the screen in a dozen fragments, a dozen versions of your life now. You own a seed-catalog company in Wisconsin. You run a city in Oregon. You saved a little girl from drowning. You won a 10k race in Delaware. You love terriers. You died in 1842.

You've been busy.

I type in my own name. I'm 40. I'm a jewelry designer in Germany. I'm an actress. I'm cold. I teach economics. I just had my fourth baby. I have too many words in my head. I miss you, and I don't know why. We were just friends.

Some of these things are true.

I'm 38. I sign the divorce papers. I cry. I drive home. I cry. I put the kids to bed. I cry. I pour a drink.

I'm 28. I quit ignoring the knot I get in my stomach when my fiancé and I argue. I quit ignoring the way I get shaky when you come in the room. I cancel the wedding.

I'm 14. I tell my stepfather to fuck off.

I'm 24. I stay home that night.

I'm 34. I run into you at the grocers. We're both married. I'm miserable. You're miserable. I don't wait for him to throw in the towel.

I'm 10. My mother remarries. I'm a flower girl.

I'm 25. I don't care. We make love.

I'm 22. I move to New York instead of London.

I'm 28. I am crazy in love with him; I smile in the pictures. You toast us. You look like brothers.

I'm 14. I do exactly as I'm told.

I'm 34. I run into you at the grocers. We're both married. We're friendly. I think you're happy. I think I'm happy. I never see you again.

I'm 22. I go to graduate school.

I'm 18. I tell my stepfather to fuck off.

I'm 10. My mother stays single. I'm saved.

I'm 5. I'm fierce. I never do as I'm told.

I have my whole life ahead of me.

Some of these things are true.

I type.