There’s dust everywhere always, all your dead skin glaring at you like cremains, and you can dust every fucking day (I don’t) but there’s going to be more.
More dishes, too. I begged my roommate, let’s just switch to paper? He kept yammering about the environment, no matter how much I insisted paper’s a renewable resource—trees, duh—and that the dishwashing machine energy’s more expensive.
Not that I give a shit about the environment, but it’s like, why even take the fucking dishes out? You’re just going to put them back in. Why make the bed when you’re going to un-make it every night? Why pretend you do laundry instead of acknowledging that laundry does you, that your washer and dryer line up to gang bang you almost daily with piles of musty clothes and filthy dryer filters?
My roommate, for all the shits he gives about dishes, can’t bear to empty the dryer filter. Says it grosses him out. But we’ll both die regardless.
I’ve been reading up on existentialism, because I realized at a cocktail party—I’m jk, it was during a Skype chat with some asshole from OK Cupid—that even though I’d been calling myself one for ages, I didn’t really know what the fuck it meant. And I still probably don’t, not completely, but let me give it a shot.
Basically, you can either acknowledge your mortality and choose to live “authentically,” or you can pretend you’re not going to die, live a life in “bad faith,” and conform to everyone else. A slave to the They.
I’m not claiming to be an expert—exactly the opposite—but it’s gotten me thinking a lot, especially on the toilet. Even though my roommate’s pounding on the door, I don’t give a shit. I’m not leaving. The bathroom is the only place chill enough to contain my nervous breakdown. Plus I have to—no, get to—turn on the exhaust vent, which actually doesn’t do much for the smell, but does emit a calming white noise.
This helps my bowels to relax, for one thing. (I have very self-conscious bowels.)
It also helps me concentrate on the difficult task of sifting through my mental bullshit for gold-plated truth nuggets—while fending off worms of doubt.
The more nervous I get, the more worms I find: you are nuts; he is going to report you; you can’t do this; what if he has diarrhea on the hallway floor?
Counterpoint: If my roommate understood what I’m going through, he’d find somewhere else to shit.
Everything has always been too much for me, and me too much for it. Like when I was Christian as a kid. I’d get so frustrated, not only with the fine points (“where did Cain and Abel’s siblings come from?”) but with the basic premise. If I’m really going to buy into the idea that everyone is condemned to hell unless I get them to admit/believe/commit to/in God/Christ, why bother with school? Why are we meeting in an expensive new youth group annex for donuts when more people are condemned to burn each second? Shouldn’t we be out preaching the #Word?
It helped me let go of the belief later on, knowing that 99% of the people who professed it didn’t act on it. Only now I’m in that same situation with existentialism, because I’d hardly consider my life “authentic.”
I still fantasize about getting a terminal illness and/or facing the apocalypse—only then, it feels like, could I finally be free to do what I want, without worrying nonstop what everyone thinks of me. In the meantime, though, I’m just as bad as the hypocrites. I would also thoroughly like a donut right now, but I’d settle for a milkshake, or—
The word “cop” jerks me out of my haze, and I scream over the fan, “What?” I couldn’t hear wtf my roommate just said over the exhaust fan, so I turn it off and ask him to repeat himself. I know I should open the door, that he’s getting madder by the second, but if a cop is out there, then I need some time to prepare.
(Another thing I occasionally do in the bathroom, along with shit and philosophize, is smoke weed. I didn’t mention this before, because I didn’t want it to color your first impressions of me or my dilemma. Although I’m sure for some of you old-fashioned assholes, my quote unquote reputation’s now irreparably damaged. (I guess it’s pretty arrogant of me, though, to assume that my reputation before this point was good anyway.))
“I need to take a crap,” my roommate says, and I think ohhh, “crap” not “cop” and make an adorable face…a laugh track plays and we cut to commercial—
“If YOU DON’T GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE BATHROOM, I WILL CALL THE COPS.”
I gather up my Wal-Mart sack of paraphernalia and apologize ten million times, telling him I’m stressed about finals before remembering that it’s winter break and appending, “I mean next semester’s finals.”
I’m not a bad person and I make good grades, don’t get the wrong idea. It’s just that I got dumped lately, and I’m not handling it so great. I thought reading up on philosophy might be healthier than writing revenge fan fiction, but it hasn’t helped. I’m just anxious about two things now, instead of one.
Not only a dumped loser, but a failed, fake existentialist. Because if I really believe that I’m going to die at any moment, that this is the only chance I get, then the loss of some guy’s affections wouldn’t matter so much, right?
“In other words,” I ask, “what can I do to stop being a hypocrite, other than trying to kill myself?”
Busting the door open, the policeman my roommate called does not look amused by my question.