1. Nobody really gives a shit about the thing you’re anxious or insecure about, so relax and keep on. Your new haircut looks fine, as does that sweater.
2. Be nice to servers, customer service and your bus driver. Nobody likes a cunt.
3. The ocean and mountains will kill you- you have to respect them. Do so by staying completely away, or at the very least pack some layers and a granola bar.
4. Empathetic and understanding are two of the best things you can be.
5. If you have a shitty heart, things will be shitty.
6. If after you turn 30 years old you can still eat cheese mid-day and go about your business unhindered- call it a win.
7. “Talk shit, get hit.”
8. Walking is still honest.
9. You can totally judge a book by its cover, because that’s where they put the pull-quotes and reviews that will tell you whether or not the book will be of suitable enjoyment to you. But that applies to books and books alone.
10. Drink lots of water.
Are you who you want to be?
I mean at this very moment- right now, not tomorrow, not next week after you hear back about that promotion, car loan, that new jacket that you want but don’t really need but might go on sale during Easter weekend so why not, right? Are you who you want to be? Before what happens next- between the hours at sleep and the hours at work. You’re already thinking of that thing, yeah*? And once you have it or hold it or feel it or experience it, you’re just so god damn certain that it will provide a completeness that otherwise falls apart under prolonged scrutiny. Will it finally satiate those tremors of jealousy that itch the back of your throat when you scroll through other people’s cherry-picked musings and snaps on social media? And does recognizing that you’re having those feelings bother you more than Julie’s album of her fifth fucking trip to Mexico? The one she uploaded like the goddamn second she got off the plane and found WiFi? I mean she makes decent money so good for her- have fun, I guess- but go visit another fucking country, right?! You’re 38 years old and half Italian- go to Italy, Julie! Christ. Or at least take photos of more than just your 9AM margaritas and the guy who fell asleep next to you on the plane. (And while we’re on the subject, those panoramic shots of you staring out at sea that you post every couple of days make you look like a fucking cunt, Brad**. Knock it off!)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock- in which case you have bigger problems, such as the structural integrity of your home- you’ve heard that renowned business tycoon turned reality TV schmuck turned unabashed crotch-grabber Donald J. Trump was elected to as the new president of the United States of America.
You’re probably somewhere between angry, confused, anxious and terrified- or you’re totally cool with it, in which case you’ve got bigger problems such as the structural integrity of your fucking soul- but those emotions and others are normal when a fascist animal takes the throne of the country with the most weapons and white people. Trump ran a campaign as fast and loose as whatever it is that he puts on his gross head every morning before he greets the world with a half smirk and a condescending “Okay?” He villainized minorities, women, intellectuals and the other all the things he is not. But what will his presidency look like? How is he going to co-exist with other world leaders? Is it fair to judge him as a pending failure before day one in power?
It was one of those bad ideas that was available all night, cheap and close to where the locals handed out free drinks to the heathens, the drunks, the gamblers, the strung-out weekend warrior bachelor party meatheads whom- if you listened to them talk- you would think them to be sired from the same man.
“Bro,” Greg slipped out of a shamelessly SUV-styled limoscene, lime green of course. “Let’s fucking do it! Vegas, baby!”
(None of them had ever seen Swingers.)
Pete’s Tats offered custom art, designed, sketched and inked within at most two hours. They promised professional, quality work for a fair rate- so long as you could stand on your own feet and quote your birthday.
Greg hopped on to the leather-padded bench, leaning up and forward to inspect his artist as she plugged away at her machine. She was the exact type of looking girl one would find in any tattoo shop on the planet. Slipping on plastic gloves and cradling her needle like the cigarette she so desperately wants to go out back and smoke, she makes reluctant eye contact with Greg.
(In his head, Greg assigns her a numerical rating based on her looks and proceeds to tailor his attitude as such.)
I should drink less coffee. I’m treating it like gasoline. Is my hair too long? Does it look good? I think it does. I don’t really care. She told me to stand up straight so I’m trying to do that more often. Walking is relaxing. I think I have a brisk, unfocused yet confident stride, though I’ve never once seen myself do it. I suppose I would have to pass say, an extended mirror. I’d probably get self-confident, throwing my pace off. Unless the mirror was one hundred, one hundred and fifty meters long so I could develop a typical pace and have a moment to properly analyze things. Am I bending my knees too much? Are my shoulders straight? What are my arms doing? Yeah. I’d need about ten percent of a kilometer of mirror- in daylight, average spring day, brisk wind- to really figure this one out. But where would you find a mirror that long? This whole conversation is ridiculous.
I try to stand up straight.
Online dating is like a sewer: I’ve always been aware of its presence, vaguely understanding of how it works and what it’s for. But until you rip off the manhole* and dive face-first into the abyss… until your senses are dulled by the stark change of environment, and you realize everything that made you comfortable** doesn’t exist anymore***… until you your knees buckle under the weight of a hundred new social constructs raining down**** as if every member of Hitler’s advancing troops on Poland were replaced with Rip Taylor clones*****… until you grasp around in darkness, unsure of what your hand will touch but all things considered you’ll take anything… I think I’m over the sewer metaphor. It’s not coming across.