A little while back, I had sent out a short story to a bunch of journals. A little while after that, I got a response from a journal, and they said good work! We’d like to publish this! I think I was actually in the Las Vegas airport when I received the email from the editor, and I believe I got a little shrieky in my excitement. Being accepted has always done this for me, sent me spiraling up over the moon with a sense of accomplishment, of validation, of squiggly, happy-time glee. You have to wonder why I don’t send off stories more often. I think the answer is: because I am kind of a dipshit.
I frequently don’t do things that I am perfectly aware will end well, will have nothing but positive consequences in the end, that will make me happy and my life fulfilled and my dreams all come true. What kind of idiot psychological issue makes you afraid of being happy, afraid of treating yourself well and kindly and doing good things that will cause rejoicing and glee and satisfaction?
I can understand, I think, knowing that you shouldn’t do something not
good. Knowing that you shouldn’t be acting–eating, for instance, a
gallon of tin roof sundae right out of the big plastic tub because
you’re going to feel sick, because it’s going to do terrible things to
your gut, because it is a whole lot of fat and a ridiculous number of
calories to ingest in one sitting, a nutritionally awful way to spend
forty-five minutes, because sugar can screw you up physically and
mentally for hours, but doing it anyway because it tastes good. There
is logic, there. It’s stupid logic and won’t win you any Hey, Good
Thinking! awards, but there is a certain satisfaction in enjoying a
whole lot of ice cream after you have considered and then ultimately
dismissed all the possible consequences of that whole lot of ice
cream. I might even suggest that blowing off the responsibility and
the very likely end results makes it all the sweeter.
But to not act is absolutely nuts. To waste those few free moments between obligations, to give into inertia in the face of potential, bone-deep contentment for no good reason at all, that’s just absolutely nuts. That is nothing I can justify, and nothing I can forgive, because
it is purely and certainly dumb as a stump, a bag of hammers, a sack of
hair, a big wet sock. That is a waste of so much–time, energy, talent,
happiness. That is letting the world get away from you, even knowing
that you’re never going to get it back, which makes it all the more
terrible and all the more sad.
Does knowing that it is so foolish, in so many ways, to squander away
moments with ordinariness and listlessness and laziness make it any
easier to stop pissing them away? Does it make it any more
comprehensible? Does it make you angry? Maybe, and no, and oh, I hope