You know the name of your local alt-weekly. You used to pick it up every Wednesday. You used to know the names of the freelancers in the music section, and there was that one editor who had that kickass music festival before he quit and fell off the radar. And then you became one of the freelancers. You couldn’t believe it at first. It was an exciting time, back when interviewing bands and running stories full of F-bombs was exciting to you. You were hot shit back then, you know? But eventually it dawned on you that the stories alt-weeklies tell exist in a sort of parallel universe where there are no children and no day jobs; a parallel universe of runaway artistic innovation and consequence-free day drinking. And eventually you got bored writing about bands because all the stories were the same. And eventually you got tired of making 10 cents a word, and you moved on. You fell off the radar. That was years ago. Still, sometimes when your mind wanders, you miss the scrappiness of those days. The satisfaction was in the striving all along.