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"Nice day for a sulk..."

The sky is gorgeous. I just wish I was in the mood to enjoy it. I wake up around two in the morning and resign all hopes of getting rid of my accursed insomnia. Pieces of yesterday's lunch with a friend (which, truthfully, seemed more like a break-up than a conversation) are still hanging about my head, and stay there after I spend the next two hours watching Singles and poking at my beer. I then decide to take some hydrocodone to help me fall back asleep. I read old Tick comics until a narcotic slumber finally takes hold.

I wake up around eleven o'clock still foggy and unwilling to admit the world exists. The first person I talk to is my mother, who calls to yell at me for not paying my dentist's bill -- not my fault, seeing as how one of the local banks has misplaced my savings account, which is where the money was coming from. I hang up on her, then dig up my old bank records so I can e-mail them to her. She calls me back up to apologize, and then starts yelling at me: for not being able to make my sister's sudden wedding, for not paying the bill despite my lack of money, for generally existing. I hang up on her again, suddenly infatuated with my new found low shit tolerance.

I drive into town and mail off some things, then have lunch at Packard's. One beer. Turkey club. Two beers. Stress doesn't melt away like I want it to. I catch myself in the mirror by my table and see a fold of skin around my neck that belonged to my dad. I see my mother's birdlike features. I see nothing of my sister who, out of all of my family, I'm closest to. During lunch I think think about what my sister has told me: she has a 30% chance of losing her baby. I think to myself while picking a piece of turkey off my plate that 70% is damn good odds and that it's a good thing she's having the kid in Reno with odds like that -- my money's on the kid. I think to myself while chewing on a stray chunk of tomato that I enjoy tomatoes very much: the soft texture and sweetness of the centre, the resistance of the skin. I start thinking about things that won't amplify my angst: golf on TV, Miles Davis playing in the bar, the hops of the beer. Most of all, I try not to care. It would be nice not to care.

Apathy? Fuck apathy. As I walk off the beers, I look at each and every person individually and say to myself: you are dead. Bald man, you are dead. Cute baby, you are dead. Pretty redhead, you are dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. For some reason this is extremely comforting.

At a record shop I pick up the new Poe and an old John Coltrane album (Blue Train, if you must know). I talk jazz with the clerk for a bit and then take off. I've stopped acknowledging everybody's state of non-living. It's not that they're worth it or anything. I guess a simple conversation about Charles Mingus has cheered me up so much that I can quit being such a prick for the moment.

Back home, I watch Sixteen Candles for the first time in my life and decide not to do anything for the rest of the day. Laundry is piling up, dishes are in the dishwasher, the apartment is a mess, the kitchen could stand to be mopped, the toilet definitely needs to be cleaned: screw it. My couch is the only person I have to hold onto right now, and it has my undivided attention, even if it means I accidentally beat Jet Grind Radio and have to watch Hee-Haw re-runs all night long.

The Cure. Joy Division. Bright Eyes. These are bands that I need to quit listening to on the off chance that something brighter will improve my outlook on life. Viva cynicism!

It's not that I'm depressed, per se. It's just that I haven't had a really good reason to appreciate life in a long long time.