A Selection of Lives I Probably Will Not Lead

cluny

I live in a large Chicago apartment with a black lab named SeaTac. My cats are named JFK and Reagan, both after the airports.

I have a husband with very shiny hair and three daughters, all of whom share names with members of the British royal family. My house is always spotless and I am invariably polite to my neighbors. I wear a lot of J Crew.

I join the rebels in the Cyber War of 2037. I narrowly escape with my life and spend the rest of my days hiding my bionic shoulder.

I move back to my hometown after college graduation and take my mom’s old job. I am moderately content with my life.

I simply am not.

I take up the accordion and join a travelling band. I enjoy sleeping in a van with my bandmates and rarely wonder what would happen if my life had gone a different way.

I suddenly go out of town for a few days and, upon my return, refuse to talk about my trip or even acknowledge that I was ever gone. I walk with a slight limp for the rest of my life.

I write a successful food blog and eventually star in my own Food Network show. Rachel Ray and I are BFFs.

I save someone’s life in the Metro and am on several morning talk shows in rapid succession. I then disappear from public life, save for a brief “Where Are They Now?” show in 2050.

I eventually learn how to whistle.

I have a PhD in something you probably wouldn’t understand and work for NASA. All of my parents’ friends are slightly jealous.

I disappear quietly into the cold November night. I post birthday presents to my sister from an undisclosed location for the next several decades.

I go camping a lot and enjoy every moment of it.

I am part of the first colonization expedition to Mars. I often spend my nights searching for the tiny dot that is Earth, but I usually can’t find it.

I spend a year as an au pair in France, fall in love a dashing French man and his perfect accent, and start a lifestyle blog.

I am a barista. My wife is a sculptor. We are very happy, even if you don’t approve of our life choices.

I am eating brunch with an old friend when I suddenly vanish in a puff of cardamom-scented smoke, leaving behind only a half-finished mimosa and a sense of lingering doubt.

Image by Luigi Morante

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