I’d counted the steps it took to get to the store. I’d sit in the aisle and leaf through magazines and cheapo paperbacks. The air conditioning offering a distance from the anxious furnace of the apartment. And I had those thoughts, lost in grandeur, that the dog hair collected in the corner with the dust mites and the crumpled cans and the cigarette ash would be something I’d only have a memory of in the divine future I was owed.
I didn’t get to the beach. I didn’t drive in Cadillacs. I rode a bicycle and delivered food to people who looked derisively through the sweat stains under my arms. If resentment pulsed, it pulsed a deceptive beat. I shook the wetness off of me and felt victorious as I pedaled though the city.
But even that victory left a mark. Another furious reminder that the savage retribution built up inside would settle into some kind of anger. And anger wasn’t something I could afford, then as now. Nobody owed me anything.