Even though we didn’t live near the ocean anymore

A punishment we’re all suffering through

This is an excerpt from my new book Lockdown in Hell World available now. Today’s new Hell World is for paid-subscribers only and can be found here.

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It’s April and I swaddled my head in cloth like a fragile vase I wanted to ship across the country and walked to the 7-Eleven for the first time in a long time and it was invigorating to Go Out it felt like a trip to fucking Paris.

I still haven’t been watching much cable news lately. I can barely bring myself to look at CNN or MSNBC so I’m certainly not going to be keeping up with Fox News on a regular basis. I haven’t been watching much of anything to be honest basically I wake up every morning and say ah fuck motherfucker then I drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and listen to Duke Ellington or some shit like that to relax until it’s late enough in the day that I can reasonably drink Johnny Walker Black and smoke cigarettes and listen to 2000s nu-metal to gas myself up.

Typically in between I’ll go for a run then come home and do some shitty little push-ups and think alright now I’ve earned this feast of shitty cheddar cheese and Triscuits. Then around 8 p.m. I’ll take exactly one hit of my weed pen and pass out and start the whole thing over again. The perfect system.

The most normal shit has taken on a foreboding air. Birds are out here fucking and sucking each other off all over the trees because it’s springtime and not for any other apocalyptic reason and yet it’s frightening now to hear them scream at each other in their idiot sky language. Maybe it’s scary in part because they seem capable of carrying on very well without us either way.

It’s May and Michelle is downstairs conducting her third class over the computer which she has done the past few mornings while I lay in bed trying to think of a reason to get out of it and coming up short. Yesterday the class was on how to have proper etiquette online how to not be a troll and so forth and I thought haha I should probably take that class too. Or maybe she could have me come by in like a scared straight capacity like when they used to bring a recovered addict to talk to your school about drugs and you wouldn’t take it seriously because when you’re a kid addiction is like a mortgage or something it’s something that happens to adults someday far off down the line that doesn’t matter to you now. It’s like when you’re reading the instructions on the Google Map thing when you’re driving on a long trip and the third or fourth item down is a weird turn you’ll need to pay attention to at some point but not just yet it’s still forty miles away. In any case I have both those things now all the addictions you could handle and the mortgage and I’d just as soon I didn’t but too late now on both accounts.

Here’s what I want I want to walk into a bar and sit down next to some fucking guy and be annoyed by every single little movement he makes and every comment about what’s playing on the TV. I want me to want him to shut the fuck up. I want to have the bartender ask me how I am and I want to tell them not too bad man and mean it. I want to wheel a carriage with a fucked up wheel down the aisle of the grocery store and find someone standing in front of the vast array of Cheez-It options taking their sweet ass time deciding and I want to think hurry up with the Cheez-Its Jesus Christ. I want to peel off my clothes in a room full of gross old man dicks and balls and climb into my shorts and walk to the pool and hurl myself into it and swim back and forth going nowhere just moving through the water. I want to be dragged to a dinner party I would prefer not to go to and sit there on someone’s stupid couch and reach a pita chip over and scrape it across the bowl of hummus and say ha ha that’s wild when someone is telling me a story about whatever cute little job they have and I want to go meet a friend I haven’t seen in a while and sort of not feel like it all day but then realize halfway through the visit that I love them and there’s a reason why I still know them even after all these years. Then once I’ve done all that once I’ve talked and talked I want to go home and be alone for a little while like it’s a pleasure I’ve earned not a punishment we’re all suffering through.

Then maybe a year or two from now I want to come down with a fever and think ah fuck I’ve got a very normal and regular fever and crawl into bed for a day or two and guzzle some Nyquil and watch stupid movies on my laptop and not think it’s the end of anything rather just how things go sometimes and then many years after that perhaps thirty-five to forty of them if I’m lucky I want to come down with a worse fever or something and think ah fuck and crawl into a hospital bed and die with my wife being allowed to stand by my side thinking about how nice all those years were even though we didn’t live near the ocean anymore.

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