1. Greenville, South Carolina– Go to the frozen yogurt places, walk around the parks, sit in the coffee shops, wander around the malls, go into the city and out of the city, into the city and out of the city, from that nice big house you have to yourself.
2. Detroit, Michigan- Oh god oh god
3. Coos Bay, Oregon– You are living in Las Vegas with Cheryl. It has been 13 months, and you miss the rain, so you go with her on a road trip to the Oregon Coast. It’s a spontaneous decision– you propose the idea over wine and a movie on Friday, and by the dawn on Saturday you are an hour from your house. She is wearing that sweater that you bought her that she said she loved but would leave behind. When you finally cross into Oregon you hit a crawling thunderhead. You both are taken aback by the power and beauty of the shower. You watch the shadows of the raindrops on the windshield dapple her face like weightless tears.
4. Lubbock, Texas– Cheryl lives there with her new husband.
5. Bethel, Ohio– No, can’t go back there, too many memories– the old post office and town center, the bike path, the old house. Her family is still there, but everyone else has died.
6. St. Louis, Missouri– Smile and kiss the CEO’s ass and try not to flirt with his secretary. Enjoy the world-famous Forest Park. Smile and kiss ass and know that you’re stuck in this job, and your pension will wither to feed his severance package.
7. Jacksonville, Florida– American Way had an article about it last time you flew. Looked nice, sunny; smiling people at tables overflowing with crab, smiling couples walking hand in hand.