The Summer (Day) of My Discontent


Just when I was beginning to feel like the sebum was on my side, my chin has started throbbing in that warm, ominous way that always precludes a breakout. This isn’t entirely surprising considering the last week or so has been spent overanalyzing every nook and cranny of my life, leading me to very extreme, adolescent conclusions and a lot of woe-is-me sighing. Having a harsh Winter-worthy cold in the middle of June hasn’t encouraged a lot of positive thinking, either.

On Sunday, in a moment of pure weakness, I Instagrammed a cry for help in the form of a drab coconut popsicle, the sad caption reading: my only friend. Of course, this dramatic statement is far from the truth, but in that moment, as everyone in New York City appeared to be deeply invested in something called the World Cup with their pals, and I sat alone in my apartment clogged with snot and overwhelming angst, it felt true. One friend (because they do exist, much to the chagrin of my forced despondency) asked me what I was up to and I bluntly responded: eating a popsicle, contemplating suicide.

TV was not an option because it allowed for far too much self-talking-my-way-to-crazytown, so I tried reading. I bought the Sunday New York Times and vowed to read it all, only making it through the Review and the Styles sections before I dozed off into a grumpy nap. When I came back from slumberland, I found myself getting actively pissed off about the Emily Gould profile simply because Girls showrunner Jenni Konner was telling us all to get pissed off about it on Twitter. I didn’t even know who Emily Gould was, let alone really care. But, when you’re pissed off, it’s incredibly easy to find others who feed into your gloomy worldview.

I then resorted to everyone’s favorite sad-meets-angry pastime: self-indulgent complaining to our mothers. Can you imagine if other people saw how low we often stoop around the lovely folks who gave us life? I shudder to imagine the consequences. I’ll just say there was a lot of portentous talk about dying alone, having no friends, hating New York, etc. My mom accurately assured me that I was batshit insane, offering numerous counterpoints to my shoddy arguments.

How dare she try to help me out here, I thought, I’m having a pity-party and I’ll cry if I want to! And boy did I want to! I was hell-bent on being unhappy, and just because I had asked her for advice did not mean that I, you know, really wanted it.

So I stewed. And then my insomni-ass miraculously got eight hours of sleep and I woke up feeling like the man on the fucking moon, ready to take Monday by storm and shit all over my Daria-esque alter-ego. Funny how much a little sleep can give, or—if lacking—take from your general sanity.

I woke up to a list [not a listicle] of texts from friends, no longer able to deny their existence. A stranger on the street told me I had nice eyes, and though vaguely creepy, it gave me the sense that, “Ah, there’s hope for me yet.” I spent the evening on the telephone—truly a novel experience—catching up with my brother, laughing with my stepmom, and then making fun of my dating woes with my Chicago-dwelling friend Jake. Human interaction, it turns out, is nearly as (if not more) beneficial than getting some proper Z’s.

So, I would like to apologize to those who were harmed during this period—which really means any of you heroes who had to deal with my onslaught of whiny, dispirited texts. Thank you in advance for not using this piece against me next time I feel the need to dabble in being true blue—I just can’t help it, guys, I’m a tortured writer, and when reality doesn’t give me enough to complain about, I will simply have to manifest it myself.

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