Plan F

If things ever get too out of hand here, if the stress of my life for some reason swells to the point of unmanageability, I have an escape plan already laid out, a series of careful actions I’ll take in case of an emergency. Because you never know when life is going to hand you lemons. It could pelt you with something like forty-five lemons at the same time, really gross lemons, full of seeds with a really thick oily skin. And when you reach for your sugar to be all positive and make lemonade, life might replace your sugar with salt. And the salt might be cut with white sand. And the water you use to mix everything together could be from a well that’s been contaminated by a chemical spill.

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Like I said, I’m ready for that. I have a Plan B, I’ve even got Plans C, D, and E all laid out. But I’m talking about Plan F, where something terrible happens in my life and I can’t even talk about it, that’s how bad it is. Plans A through E aren’t really options at this point, and I’ve got to split. I know exactly what I’ve got to do.

Because when the going gets tough, well, that’s when I’m out. You won’t even know it. I’ll tell everybody that I’m going on a three-week vacation, which is what I like to think of as a three-week head start. “Where’s Rob?” nobody’s going to ask, because I’ll set up my Facebook account to start posting random pictures from travel blogs, “I’m having such a great time on vacation!” I’ll have them all scheduled to post in advance at random times throughout that window.

And then when I never come back, when my boss starts calling my by now defunct cell phone number, I’ll be totally gone. I’m going to grow out a huge beard and shave my head so that way I won’t be immediately recognizable. I’m definitely going to move away to a different state, if not a new country altogether. Or maybe that’s what I want you to think. Maybe this warning is all a part of my plan, to make you believe that I’ve headed somewhere far away. Maybe I’ve set up a new life down the block, all of that hiding-in-plain-sight business.

Either way, if I ever disappear, just assume that I’m OK, that life here spiraled out of control, that I have a plan, and that plan is very detailed and intricate, that I’d like to explain more, but if I really went ahead and told you the nuts and bolts, then you’d be able to find me, and why would I do that? What’s the point of having an emergency escape plan and then telling everybody where to find me?

Just, if I disappear, and years from now you’re out traveling somewhere far away, or close to home, and you think you see somebody that looks like what you think I’ll look like years from now, it’s not me. It’s just someone that happens to look like a future version of me. Because once I set Plan F in motion, you’ll never see me again. Poof.

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