One day, while doing 60 in a 45 mph zone, my right rear tire will blow, and I will have to live on the side of the road because I don’t know how to change a flat.

The next day, a geriatric raccoon will wander over to my roadside abode and drop dead, and I will have to bury it in my four-by-six patch of dirt because I don’t know who to call to come scrape up roadkill.

Perhaps, after some time, a kindly soul will take pity on me and change my tire, and I will mark the raccoon’s grave with the flat and then drive home. But soon, the snow will come, and I will have to call in absent to work and take a day without pay because I don’t know how to drive in anything colder than rain.

And then, the furnace will break, and I don’t know how to build a fire.

And then, my clothes will get holes from being stretched too thin, and I don’t know how to mend them.

And then, my body will break, and I don’t have a doctor. My tooth will break, and I don’t have a dentist. I will go blind–no optometrist–and now dependent on my ears, I will discover I never learned how to listen.

Lies we tell our children: you can do anything, and when you’re older, you’ll understand.

I can lick my knees, but that won’t take me anywhere, at least nowhere I want to go.

The older I get, the more I find myself staring out the window of my office, searching for shapes in the cumulonimbus, and seeing not an elephant or a great-winged bird, but a single clenched fist, pushing toward the heavens, holding back the rain.

Meanwhile, the dust flies around the building in tornadoes, coating cars, seeping through the windows. It will get into our lungs, and we won’t know until decades later, when the doctors tell us we have cancer.

We’re so thirsty. We don’t know why.

No one wants to be the one to tell us: we’re burning.