What do you want? Say the answer aloud. Say the answer again. Say it over and over and over again. 

(The real me: If we don’t speak honestly about breakdown, we’ll just keep pressing index and middle fingers deeper down our throats. The new real me: Stop writing about breakdowns and breakdown! The real me that’s speaking now: I can’t. Programmed perfectionist, I cannot fail.)

I stab the key into the Honda Element's keyhole. Excuse the above flare of temperament. It's dark and the streetlights cast long orange shadows. Out loud, I say: I want a truck. 

(It’s getting harder and harder to keep it together. To keep faking)

I want a truck. I say this every time I fumble my carabiner-clipped keys between my iPhone-clutching fingers. I want a four-door pickup truck. This isn't petty consumerism. I want a truck because I want land. And I want land because every time I drive to the national forest five miles south of town I feel peace that I never feel in the city. And I don't even live in the city. I live in a small off-brand Raisin Bran town in the sweaty palm of Georgia. And still I feel crazy inside. That's why I want a truck. 

I want a truck because I'm going to build a barn, a chicken coop, and a fence from things found on the side of the road. And I'm going to need to transport these roadside refugees. 

The world wide web wires my valence levels.  Super stimulated. So happy hippie on the outside, so tightly wound on the inside I worry I might not have anything left in a decade or two. 

You are what you eat, says Anthelme Brilat-Savarin. I think you’re also what you say. That’s why I say I’m getting a truck. Mantras matter. In yoga, it’s om shanti shanti or om mani padme. Or just om.  

Ancient sanskrit’s unintelligible though. I want to pickup truck is a mantra I want to live. A stepping-stone mantra toward a farm. Aset of flippers in the up-river paddle the grain of society. 

If anything hard is ever going to achieved it must be repeated, made manifest. Say it over and over again. Eventually it’s all you hear. Every time I say it, I feel the friction of the words as they come out of my mouth. Like the very air is pushing them back in. So I said again. And the friction gets a little less. Just by virtue of me saying it. Like you can speak reality into existence. 

Maybe this is what anyone who knows how to be persuasive does. Maybe this is what the media game is all about. 

I want to pickup truck because that leads to a farm, which is less noise, which is fingers out of the back of my throat. And I want a pickup truck because then maybe Ellie will have a shot at more than seven minutes outside each day, which is the current national average. Maybe we’ll be able to avoid sedentary childhood, early onset diabetes, and a teenage life medicated by the latest pill to make you feel better about yourself.

I'm going to trade, barter, or buy my way to a pickup truck.