Time: 2:12 p.m.
Date: Dec. 31
Location: Hennepin Avenue & Lake Street
Erich Hansen is walking alone to the grocery store for steak.
Today he looks forward to the meal. Tomorrow, who knows.
Erich moved here from Arizona last March after 34 years away. His neuropsychology practice there gone, chronic spinal pain chasing him from work. His mother here and aging and nobody to help but him.
He’s not happy here. He wasn’t entirely happy there.
He wears his scars on his sleeve. Fiercely, indifferently. He tempers his body pain with narcotics, his other pain with varying medications.
"I don’t want to say I try to look at pain as if it has something to teach me. I think I’ve learned everything I can from it. I just try to accept well, OK, that’s my reality, and breathe and live through it."
He says he considers suicide and a smile creeps onto his world-beaten philosopher’s face. The question frees him, allows him to stay vigilant in his search for each day’s good thing, so often small and veiled and easily missed.
He says he won’t consider tomorrow until today comes to pass. He smiles wider.
"I want to stand the present and not decide to end my life.