Spoke to Stan again. He was kind of blabbering, so I caught most of this on the fly.
"Went to the 99 cent store.Nobody smiles. People are kinda struggling. They're tired. You can feel their exhaustion in the aisle when they stand behind you."
"Overhead, heard the song, "Take Me Home" by Genesis. No I'm not suicidal, but I remember one of the only suicide notes I ever read. The note said that the woman was "going home." I discovered that, particularly in older adults, this is the sentiment expressed when they want to just get it over with. Just get out of their pain."
"Today I went to play softball with my soon to be ex-wife and she wasn't wearing her wedding rings. I have been. I'm still holding out hope, you know? So when I said, "Hey, you took off your wedding rings," she just said, "Yeah." "That was it. She said, "yeah."
"I couldn't think of anything. I got a knot in my stomach. So I said this: "Well, it'll help if you decide to date again." I halfway meant it. I want her to be happy, you know? She said, "That's never going to happen." The dating, I mean, not the happiness."
"In that moment, just seeing her hand, my heart is ripped in two. I'm staying in a room, affordable thank god, and I have a couple of irons in the fire to take care of myself so I can get my own place someday.
"But until this moment, I kinda thought that maybe we'd have another shot at this."
"And I'm standing in the store, remembering where I am, revisiting this moment in my head, seeing the despair on the faces surrounding me, and I felt like a nothing. When I revisited that moment, watching so many exhausted, hurting people in that store, I felt searing pain. Hard to describe, but it hit my in my chest. Awful, heavy, burning pain."
"I held my chest and I started to cry. I turned my face into rows and rows of canned goods. This shouldn't be done alone. I wanted to just make eye contact with somebody. But everybody in that store was very alone. I was standing by myself. To a person, if only for a moment, I felt a kinship with their hurts."
"So I just leaned in, for another second, and watched my tears hit the top of a soup can."
"I am going to see my daughter on the East Coast, tomorrow, so I gotta shake this. I want my kids to know that I can be a Dad again, you know? Not some guy staying in a room because he screwed up his career eight years ago. There are thing afoot. I can get my own place, maybe someday. Little mobile home, own the pad, get the mortgage down. I want them to be able to see their Old Man in his own place, maybe have them over and even stay a few nights. It would be great for my daughter and her kids. I miss them. I want so badly to get to know them again...to be a Dad to my daughter, a grandfather to my grandkids."
"It's so sad watching that third finger on her left hand. So I gave her my rings. Hell, she paid for them. I was hurt. I texted her telling her that I still loved her, but I was just so hurt. But she texted back. Said she got a huge IRS bill. I told her I'd help, and she thanked me for the offer. That felt good.."
"I'm not a victim. I didn't do right to a lot of people. It's not about me, but karma is hitting hard and it hurts."
"I miss her, man. I knew I had it coming. I just miss her."
"One last thing: I turned on the radio and I heard this."
Randy Newman can write a hell of song.