Written By Logan Riley Caroll


There’s a chance that Dan was sadder than most of us tend to be. After all, my daddy always said, “there’s a fat chance for a skinny dog to lose some weight.” Dan’s momma could’ve been all sick with cancer. It’s a hard thing watching the woman who birthed you die like that. He may’ve been stuck on some memory where she held him after a nightmare or maybe he just liked the way she cooked. There’s a chance Laura had been cheating. Dan wasn’t harsh on the eyes, but we all knew he played out of his league when the two of them hitched. She had all that time while Dan was on the job. Wouldn’t surprise no one.

A man named Charles Darwin wrote some book trying to explain the world, but this is about what it said: in life, some people—he was talking about animals, but I’m gonna change it a little—are born handsomer than others. Maybe they’re more athletically gifted. Their brains are a bit bigger, making them smarter than other folks. These handsome people find the good-looking mates who have similar attributes and start making babies. Everyone worse off dies a virgin, ending their sorry bloodline. What Darwin didn’t write about was what if the handsome person loses their job in a recession. What if the handsome person’s kid dies before it’s born? What if they never knew their own daddy? Ol’ Darwin would probably say, “A bad hand is a bad hand.”

The papers will say it was too soon. Dan’s closest friends will say it was too soon. But as I watched him fall from that bridge into the New River Gorge, he looked so heavy I thought it was a miracle he hadn’t jumped sooner. And there’s a chance I even saw him grinning.