My old man turned seventy-eight yesterday. He was alone. We all get what we deserve. We make our own way through the shit, swinging machetes at the contorted, interlocked vines and live with it all. You gotta know when you look back you’ve forged an irregular path of destruction. Nothing is really forgiven. Nothing is really forgotten. I bought a simple card for a dollar. It said “Congratulations” on it. The rest was blank. Some shit with happy designs on the front. But the rest was blank. My old man and I don’t really talk. The few times we have in the last five years have carried too many conditions and have deteriorated in blame games, lectures, morality talks, religious fundamentalism, finger wagging. I felt bad and I didn’t feel bad. My old man is alone. All of us are. We’re scattered along the east coast of the United States of America idling, spinning wheels, some of us melancholic for outdated ideas about family, respect, what’s due to us. It doesn’t really matter in the end. I went to a war. Came home. And then went back. (Congratulations!) Now we’re all maladjusted. We’re all Big Two Hearted Rivers. Only they cut down the forest. By the 1960s everything had been eradicated. But they left behind a few large trees, in order to re-populate the land eventually. I cannot fish anymore. Or hunt anything. It seems all I can do is send cards in the mail to old men fading away, looking to import their own ideas of family from far away lands. Congratulations.