Soon I will be twenty-seven years old, and, as I reflect upon my life and I can see that I haven’t done anything remarkable with it. I am relieved. Had I accomplished something truly great, the risk of me choking to death on my own vomit would be a lot higher.
Can you imagine if I could play the guitar? Can you picture yourself at a cottage, sitting by a campfire, feeling relaxed and at ease with the world and your place in it, and then I walk up with an acoustic guitar? You could have rightfully strangled me by the beach, and watched as water lapped at my feet, then my body, then carried me out to sea where I would join my 27-club brethren. It is a good thing that I cannot play the guitar.
I am very okay with the state of my life though. For instance, I started writing a thing about how I don’t like Father John Misty, and I deleted it. I almost dedicated an hour of my life to articulating my Father John Misty thoughts. I could have pet my dog.
I actually do know how to play the recorder, but my 8th grade music and art teacher kicked me out of class for adding a free jazz solo to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. She had it out for me because I tried to resubmit a 7th grade drawing of a bowl of fruit for extra credit. I can still remember this, but I do not know the name of my across-the-street neighbor, who I have seen and made small talk with for three years. He called me ‘big guy’ last week, so I am pretty sure we are on the same page.
Teaching is a hard job.
- Fuck it, I don’t even know how to play Bass
Still, I feel legitimately happy. I spend 8 hours a day in a building that is the colour of the sky when it is about to rain, but that just means I have a job. It isn’t even soul-sucking, because sometimes I help people. Also, they pay me money! Excellent!
I live with another human being, and we regularly grapple each other and mash faces together, but that just means that I have a girlfriend. She’s the best. Sometimes I feel like I have constructed this really comfortable trap for her – here is all of this great life stuff; here is comfort; here is so much comfort that it is almost boring! When she reads this I hope she realizes that this is just my own insecurity, and I have to direct it somewhere. Last summer I harnessed my insecurity into thinking that my home was infested by carpenter ants.
And these worries about THE TYRANNY OF COMFORT or whatever, it’s really just stuff that I am worried about in my own life, and I am projecting it outwards. My girlfriend has free will, bro. I do too, but I use it to just constantly consume things so that I don’t have to think about my life too much. Why else am I reading Stephen King’s It? That book is fucking awful, and it’s also over a thousand pages. That avoids a lot of introspection. I feel like I am in this cycle right now where I am compulsively reading and checking my phone for Instagram-related validation, and scrolling through endless Netflix menus paralyzed by indecision; all of this stuff is easier than writing, which is something I want to do, but am afraid to do.
Despite the despair in my heart over not knowing how to play the piano/keytar, which is the same instrument, I do want to guide you back to point number 5 about not knowing how to play the bass. The bass is a dumb instrument even though the rhythm section is the foundation of a good rock band. And also I feel happy. I am happy a lot of the time.
A post-script: last time I was at Canadian Tire, I was standing by their discounted rack of winter apparel, and pictured myself standing by this rack for hours and hours, trying on different kinds of ski masks. Which one would obscure my face enough to allow me to become a vigilante who deals exclusively in vandalizing the cars of people who are shitty at parking?
I believe that if I found the right mask I could change my life.