I’ve been feeling really bad about myself lately. All of my blogger buddies are getting into anthologies or winning awards and I have a bunch of worthless, unfunny posts drafted. And the one post I’m willing to publish is just me whining to my few readers about my craptastic writing. Probably the stupidest route to take.
Did he just write ‘craptastic?’
Yeah. He totally did.
Holy shit. He’s right. He sucks. I’m out of here.
Where you going? You’re my ride!
We’re imaginary and I didn’t drive.
I still need a ride.
It gets worse when I consider my life outside of writing. I come from a family where men are men and men build shit. They fix shit. They make shit. I can take a shit, but I only make two things: coffee and mistakes. If I didn’t resemble my brother so closely, I swear I’d believe there was a switch-up at the kennel where my mom said she rescued me.
On top of all my personal malaise: Winter’s refusal to cede control of the Office of Weather to Spring has completely drained what little fight I had left.
But recently, just as things got unbearably dark, something unexpected happened. There I was, sitting in the gloom. Communing with the gloom. Being stalked by Death. And some survival part of my brain inexplicably powered on. Some fail-safe engaged, producing a weak, yet panicked, thought.
You may be a useless idiot, but you’ve never burned a house down.
And there it was: my emotional life preserver. And the me part of me clung to it. I thought You know what? That’s pretty damn good! Not everyone can say that! I have something to offer the world!
I sensed some incredulous subconscious relief He bought it! But I ignored that and moved forward with my new energy. Jeff takes what he can get.
Did he just refer to himself in the third person?
I’ve never burned a house down. Well, there was that one time I fell sleep gazing at the gently dancing flame of a candle and woke up to my father smashing handfuls of flames through the screen in my bedroom window. But the house didn’t burn down, and that’s a good a place as any to start rebuilding my self-worth.
So here is a list of five steps you can take right now to ensure that your house will not burn down:
- DO NOT fall asleep watching a candle. As tempting as it is, don’t lay in bed staring at that single dancing flame while listening to The Crow soundtrack or maybe The Cure’s All Mixed Up. Yeah, that’s even better! That would be awesome! It would look like the fire is swaying with the opening bass riff on Fascination Street. Then, when the keyboards kick in, you’ll be all set. If it’s summer, leave the window open a crack. Breathe that fresh air and go with the flow of flame and music. Holy shit, if you don’t have good dreams with THAT send-off, maybe you need to do a shot of Fireball or something. Maybe keep the bottle there on the nightstand next to the burning candle so you won’t have to get up.
- DO NOT own a space heater. Space heaters will burn your goddamn house the fuck down. I don’t know why they make them. They’re always in the news during the winter. You’ll hear a news anchor say “space heater” while firefighters are hosing at a fire in the news footage. The firefighters might look bored, but they’re really just tired of your space heater bullshit.
- Try not to spontaneously combust. I gotta say this seems to affect only a small number of people. They’ll completely incinerate, out of nowhere, leaving nothing but one leg with a shoe on and ashes everywhere else. These victims are usually old women. So try not to be an old woman who wears shoes? But if you are, drink lots of water all day. And maybe stay outside just in case. That way, if you burn up, at least your house won’t. You might lose a chair though.
- There’s something you should look into about dryer vents. I have a friend who owns an HVAC business and he was a fireman for a while. He’s always going on and on about goddamn dryer vents. I don’t remember exactly what I’m supposed to do with the fucking dryer vent to keep my house unburned-down. But obviously I’m doing it because my house is still standing. Is yours? Just Google “dryer vents house fire” or “dryer vent fire safety” or some shit like that. I’m sure you’ll find something.
- DO NOT burn your house down. Do not seize the opportunity when the rest of your family is away to finally do something about the shithole you live in. Do not pour gasoline all over your belongings as you sob out “Fuck this mess!” Do not make sure that everything you ever wrote–along with the piece of shit asshole laptop you wrote all that dreck on–is in the center of the living room where you poured most of the gas. Do not reflect on a decade of misery and failure as you toss the match on the trail of accelerant that leads directly to the joke of a life you’ve tried to construct. Do not laugh-cry as you watch the flames erase your mistakes, as the heat from your redemption makes the skin on your forehead feel tight and a little uncomfortable, causing you to back up a few steps. DO not tell the first responders that you’ve “made it all better now. Allllll better now.”
This is pretty much the extent of my lifestyle expertise. I have written a series of DIY posts about clutter and defrosting the freezer and home security and lawn maintenance, so you can check those out too.
Also, if this post goes over well, I’ll continue with more life hacks. Like the key to finding a job. I’ll tell you right now what that is: don’t shoot a killer whale in the face. I’ve never shot a killer whale in the face and I have a job. Even though those fucking orcas are just ASKING for it. Don’t.
When is spring?