For about the past year, my roommate Alison and I have had this thing we say. We pop it out at random, and it’s good for all occasions. We don’t know where it came from; it just sort of happened. Speaking it out loud makes us feel momentarily at peace with the universe, as if being in total agreement that there is nothing good in the world takes away the blame. It’s not our fault. Everything is just the worst.
Alison also happens to be my life partner; that is, until she moves in some day with her boyfriend and leaves me all alone and pathetic, or until I leave her to move to Seattle or California, or to become some sort of cloistered nun in what would ultimately be a futile gesture of rebellion against the system that imprisons me: rage against the machine, ghost in the machine, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, whatever. Anyway, we’re at this stage in our lives where we pretty much wallow in our own misery and reinforce each other’s general senses of being absolutely good for nothing, in what we like to call “society.” Both of us majored in Creative Writing in college, which is where we met (that should tell you something right there), and we like to think of ourselves as gentle flowers sitting in the sun, or like sensitive little antennas on a roof, because basically we pick up a lot of feelings and we feel a lot of feelings, but we are completely useless at anything else worth doing. Both of us are stuck on life-paths (for the moment) that make us very unhappy. She works a dead-end food service job that doesn’t appreciate her and basically makes her feel subhuman, and I’m at the other end of the spectrum, attempting to fit in with people who spend their days cultivating their large brains. She serves coffee to ungrateful shitheads and I spend my days alone, studying for exams and grading papers and writing papers and reading so many words, never fully paying attention to any of it, and generally feeling inferior as a result. Neither one of us is good with money, we’re up to our ears in debt, and neither one of us has any fucking clue what to do about it.