Had his wife forgotten to come home earlier with the car, following her regrettable tryst with an old flame, Vince would have been a little more aggressive in the game and would have followed through with the hit on his counterpart’s knee. While this would have left Graham with a torn MCL, leading to a noticeable limp for what remained of his life, it would have allowed Vince to obviate crashing into the moose on his way back. He would have been too shaken up to get behind the wheel himself, and Tracy would have taken an alternate route after missing the turnoff. But she didn’t.
It’s raining again. Three people in this city who left their phones in taxis tonight will never get them back. A man who is not one of these three is instead the assistant manager of a department store frequented by people he would not willingly let past the mailbox at the end of his walkway. He is still unaware that the mobile in his pocket became drenched through his coat and will never work again. When he discovers what you now know, he will be upset for a little over a week. A month later, when he reads an article on the internet suggesting the phone’s demise could have been avoided by enveloping it in dry rice, he will be upset for an additional ten days. This may seem like a long time, but his needs require lasting emotions. He can choose to have positive ones, but that is rare. Ten days out of a meager total of twenty thousand, wasted by caring more about a broken phone than anything else. A strict mathematician will contend that it’s only 0.04% of his life, sure, but as the scientist neglects to observe, this is not the only time he will allow minor problems to consume his waking and dream life’s hours. His perfectly average first and last names aptronymically paved the way for the unremarkable path.
He married too young. They all did in his town. And they all married each other, which was generally a bad idea based on the shared genetics and homogeneous ideals. He took over his uncle Ray’s garage just out of high school, after Ray suffered a mild heart attack and Vince found out his wife was pregnant. When the town’s numbers dwindled, he took a second job as the janitor at the school. Then a third as the school principal, and finally a fourth as mayor. When the unthinkable occurred, they turned to him for guidance. He sighed and stepped aside, retreating to the forest, his revolving refuge, until the surviving crows absorbed his remaining carbon.