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I've been thinking of different ways to live the rest of my life.

I could be short, rob a bank, ask permission or grow a beard. I could be tall, walk straight, kiss with both lips and fuck everyone I was attracted to, at least I could try.

Go back to college, go back to elementary school, relearn the alphabet and improve my penmanship. Ask more questions, smoke in the back of the class, get sent to detention and shoot hoops instead.

And why not? Time is short, right? There are no bombs (yet!), no shortages of grain or livestock. I eat when I'm hungry and can always ask for more.

But no, they're wrong, time is long. Ask any mountain and it will tell you. The mountains in Alaska, where I stood at the center of the world, are craggly babies compared to the Alps, where I have never been...

That's it -- I should go to the Alps! I can hop a plane, exchange my currency, marry a Swiss woman who loves me for my exotic character, my uniquely un-American openness. Then I will be happy.

Or could I be happy right now? Is it like a vault, to which I have forgotten the combination is 1 2 3? Or a door, and I am pulling and pulling when it says in clear block letters PUSH? Is it better to be happy than alert? Is there a difference?

I could break down, grow up, be my father, never speak to him again. I could make more noise when I walk. Sing songs about God to a 1-6-4-5 progression in 4/4 time. I could be a mountain, eaten by bears, robbed and left for dead. Looking up at the city sky. Feeling how very long is time, how far the stars...

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