You know that feeling you sometimes get?
What's the name of that feeling, I can't quite think of it.
You know what I'm talking about, you've had it.
It seems to come along in the fall, for some reason.
On certain paydays. On certain Fridays. At certain reunions.
In a car with a friend, on a motorcycle alone, on the couch with your wife.
At the computer in the morning, after a project is turned in at night.
Rarely when you expect it—goddamn, what is its name?!—and never when you will it.
A morning's run of luck combined with a new pair of jeans might bring it on.
(And a huge promotion at work and a vacation in Paris might not.)
But it comes sometimes. And you stop worrying for an hour or a day or a week (I've gone a month!),
And you think about everything good, as if you temporarily believe in God.
(To the end of his life, my dad remembered such a feeling,
One morning, on a business trip to Chicago in the late sixties,
Just after he married my mom,
Just before Christmas,
And snowing outside the restaurant where he was eating his breakfast.)
Whatever it's called, we're not allowed to have it anymore, even in the old paltry portions.
Because the country we live in has cancer.