Dealing with Emotions Again

For maybe two years, I was in a state of depression. Within that span there were moments of darkness and clarity, but the overall state was always present.

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I think it is difficult to deal with people in this state because a depressed person is often indistinguishable from an uncaring person.


I often assumed a blank persona, not because I didn’t care about what the other person thought or felt, but because I was unable to access the proper emotion.


When faced with this situation, I often felt obligated to mimic logically the societaly-accepted emotional response.

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The performance worked if the other person was too narcissistic to notice other’s reactions, but if they were hoping to form a genuine connection, even my best acting came across as condescending.

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Social situations turned into situations with only negative consequences, and so I succumbed to the neutral settlement of no interaction at all. It felt logical to forgo society all together, leaving what relationships I had at a distant but undamaged state.

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I’ve lost some friends, but I’m doing okay.



Freedom Bird

This year I found myself envying birds, for obvious reasons.


Although technology has allowed the human to fly farther and faster than any dumb bird, they still remain my symbol of stupid freedom.


Birds are seen as free because their wings allow them to escape from the present the moment their tiny bird heart craves it.


Unlike the bird I made up, I spent most of last year unable to escape my environment.

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Somehow, midway through the summer, I did escape, and I escaped to Canada.


Escaping to Canada is a sort of joke in America, something you threaten to do when taxes are raised or a non-white man is elected president.  No one really means it, but, as idiots are prone to do, I took satirical language at face value and moved to               The Great, White North.


I started school at a new college, moved into a closet, and got a job at a local sandwich shoppe with all the other immigrants.


I learned more about international relations in six months at that sandwich shoppe than I did in eighteen years of government-funded education.

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I genuinely feel workmanly-affection for a solid 90% of my coworkers, and truly care and admire several of them, but minimum wage work is rarely rewarding, and I spent most of my days wishing I was anywhere but the present.


It was sobering to realize that escaping did nothing to increase my sense of freedom. Realizing my mental state could deteriorate regardless of my environment, I lost the last of my hope, and descended into a very dark place.

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This state, whose name I feel comfortable saying only now that I have exited it, is depression.

It is a mental state I think is impossible to fully understand when you’re outside of it. Even now, having only spent a week out of this brainspace, I can recall it only in muted memory.


I spent a year trying to exit this state naturally. I read a dozen books promoting meditation, zen, diet, and exercise as cures. All these things had some temporary effect, but as the days melted into one another it soon became very clear that this was something I could not escape through effort alone.

I don’t know why it was so hard for me to accept that.

I swallowed my pride in the form of a pill.






My Roommate, The Ghost

My roommate and I don’t have a good relationship.


That’s not to say we have a bad relationship.


We’ve lived together for almost a year, yet somehow we don’t have a relationship at all.

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Every time my roommate sees me, he runs away.

It’s my ideal living situation.

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After several months of vigorous non-discussion, I began to suspect my roommate might not be very fond of me. Then, to protect my ego, I began to suspect he was a ghost.

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At first it was a joke, but like most jokes, the longer it percolated in my mind, the less funny it became. If my roommate was genuinely a ghost, then his refusal to speak to me or look me in the eyes or acknowledge the fact that I lived ten feet away from him had less to do with my social skills and more to do with his ephemeral statues.


Last week, my roommate left. He didn’t say goodbye, but he did leave a bunch of paperwork he was supposed to do.


While filling out his notice of vacancy form and sliding his keys into an envelope, I realized there was actually no substantial evidence that he existed at all. I never even got his phone number. Was it possible that my roommate was just a figment I invented to make my apartment less lonely?

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I thought about existence for a long time. For most of us, a couple hundred years after we die, it’ll be like we never existed at all.


For a few days, I was melancholy. Then I realized I was still only paying half the rent. So, if my roommate didn’t exist, that means I’m kind of a genius.


Have a nice summer everyone.


5 Great Books You Should Read But Haven’t

Here’s five great books you should read but you haven’t because you’re a gosh darn dick who doesn’t read. (Just kidding. If you’re here I bet you’re a badass.)

1. The Magicians, By Lev Grossman

Remember Harry Potter? Remember how happy that made you? Remember how the characters were endearing? Remember how it made you think magic was awesome?

Well guess what, jerk? It’s not! Magic sucks!


This book takes a protagonist raised on Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia-type books and sends him to magic college.

As it turns out, having God-like powers doesn’t make you happy. It just robs you of your ability to find meaning in simple things. It gave me a lot of sympathy for God (he’s probably depressed as shit – that’s why he doesn’t listen to your prayer-calls.)

Also, the main character has the same first name as me, which is pretty rare. So if you’re curious what my first name is, you can read this novel (or just read it’s synopsis on Amazon.)

Tips for Reading: Tear out the last four pages of the book. I’m goddamn serious. It completely betrays the tone and entire fucking point of the entire fucking novel in order to leave room for a sequel. Leave that shit to movies, Lev.

2. Mortality, By Christopher Hitchens


This is a tiny book with a great weight. Christopher Hitchens is best known as a well-spoken British dude who thought God was dumb and that women weren’t funny. A lot of people said they hoped he’d get cancer for hurting their feelings. Then he got cancer.

He continued to write and tour throughout the entire ordeal, culminating in Mortality. It’s rare to see such a poignant, balanced view of death from someone staring it in the in the face.

Tips for Reading: It’s tempting to plow through the book because it’s so short, but read one section at a time and let yourself process it.

3. The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

Remember how Lord of the Rings was so popular that every nerdy writer tried to copy it for fifty years, oversaturating the market with disposable shit that made everyone think fantasy was disposable bullshit instead of an interesting technique for exploring societal trends?

Well, I do, because I hate most fantasy books. Everytime I try to get through one I’m overwhelmed by the unoriginal world-building at the expensive of any meaningful character or plot development. Maybe some people get a kick from a 500 page lecture on dwarf economics, but I hate economics no matter how hairy it is.

The Name of the Wind sets out to dissect the fifty-year history of fantasy while simultaneously being a part of it. The result is like a glass of spring water after fifty years of high-fructose soda—refreshing.

Tips for Reading: Go slow. Even though it’s over 700 pages, the writing is actually very polished. Events feel like they’re supposed to be there, not tangents to show off how creative the author is.

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4. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi


9-11 (pronounced nein ellie-van) was a terrorist attack that happened in America. It was very sad, and completely changed the cultural zeitgeist. Unfortunately, one of these changes was our attitude towards people of middle-eastern descent (except Jesus, but that’s only because we pretend that he’s white.)

Persepolis is a great fucking reminder that people are just people, no matter how scary FoxNews tells you they are. When the little kids are goofing off in school, making fun of all the fundamentalist bullshit , it’s powerful because it’s obvious. It’s something I did. It’s something people all over the world did. Obedient fear is a learned behavior.

Tips for Reading: This is a graphic novel, so pay attention to the pictures. They’re adorable, but the composition is meaningful.

5. On Writing Well, by William Zinsser

I have to read a lot of academic writing at school, and I’m constantly amazed at how many people who’ve devoted their lives to literature can’t write a goddamn sentence. When I read this bloated, meaningless, ego-driven drivel of uninspired academia I want to beat every literary scholar over the head with this book.

It plays like a dark comedy—writers who favored simple, clean writing being analyzed by the willfully obtuse. Literary academia has burrowed so far up its own ass it thinks shit is complex.

On Writing Well reminds us that writing is about communication, not a contest to see who can pontificate in the most masturbatory manner.

If literary scholars are going to complain that no one reads, I must also complain that uninviting, self-indulgent, unpalatable writing does nothing to advance humanity’s relation to the novel, and in most cases actively corrodes it.

Tips for reading: Don’t be a scholar. Get this book and learn to write like a fucking human.



I Drew Everything

Last week, I said I would draw anything anyone asked. People asked, and I did.

Thank you very much for all the kind, thoughtful comments. Your words are my fuel. I’ll be back in May. Don’t forget about me. I swear I shall return.

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(Be more specific next time, Dee.)

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I’ll return, and my posts will have 33% more explosions to appeal to the hip, young demographic. See you in May!