think I will install a blood sugar tracker on my computer. If I try to write without eating anything that day, it will lock up and tell me to get a Clif bar. I’m certainly melancholic enough. I’d like to retain my audience, rather than lose you to hopelessness and despair. You can get plenty of that elsewhere. You could read about, say, oil drilling in Alaska.

Behind the building where I work they’ve thrown up a brand-spanking new Best Buy. Along the outer walls of the green and purple structure are various light windows with multiculturally-correct displays of beaming consumers holding PDA’s, video cameras, and joysticks. Their smiles betray the truth I’ve gradually uncovered; you can’t buy happiness. No, really. You can’t. This may come as a shock to many of you, but I feel that it is my duty to act as a consumer watchdog and to Tell the Truth. In my recent shopping expeditions (done as research, to serve your interests) I’ve realized that despite massive capitalist efforts, retail therapy does not actually work. Rather than inner peace and satisfaction, you’re left instead with ambivalent gifts and a smaller checking balance.

If the unexamined life is not worth living, the examined life is simply a tragic loss of denial. Oh sweet slumber, what a blessing it would be to never wake up. Imagine it. I could walk through life comfortable in my skin. I could buy lots of stuff and put it in the back of my Chevy Tahoe. I could work for the Gap, live in the Marina, find satisfaction in catalogues, and regard Abercrombie and Fitch models as rilly hot. Ok, that was cheap. Sorry.

Over the weekend someone tacked a cartoon over my computer; one man saying to another, “I’m not a dog person. I’m just a guy with a dog.” That it’s such an accurate depiction of my current moods shows that my internal ennui is showing through the cracks. I watch myself withholding affection from Louie some days; he beseeches me to snap out of it.

Bearbait and a mutual friend (who shall remain nameless) spent time together hanging out in the Castro yesterday. The friend, however, was so busy chasing boys that Bearbait felt ignored. This friend is very attractive, to many men, and he reels them in effortlessly (at least, from my perspective). Bearbait walked away when the friend ran across the street to introduce himself to yet another boy. A rush of sympathetic indignation rose up within me when Bearbait told me the story. It’s so easy to see other people’s desperate attempts to fill the void we all carry. Yet in his actions I stood reflected; distorted perhaps, but there nonetheless. I also saw my jealousy of the attention he commands, though if pressed I wouldn’t trade it for my meager share. For it’s mine.

During my mother’s illness I put happiness on hold. The waiting was the worst. Now she’s gone, and I’m still waiting. For a new apartment, a car, a relationship with Ski, a different job, a different body. I can get satisfaction, I just need to change perspective. I can’t afford to keep shopping.

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