Friday, September 19, 2008

It’s Freezing in This Future

“Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all.”
― Joseph Epstein,
Thanks to the friend who gave me that quote—he’s back from an East Asian binge on sex and drugs and English classes for little kids, which coincided with my own East Asian binge on isolation and making people sad at the Singapore Institute of Mental Health (more on that coming up).

Here’s the tally: there are three types of people I envy. Number one, anyone better in school. Not necessarily anyone smarter than me, because I feel eerily unburdened by all the doctors and lawyers and bankers out there, but anyone who actually does better in a class I’m taking? Hate em. Hate the friends who graduated beside me and then went on to Oxford or Columbia or Yale. Number two, big surprise: anyone who’s happy in love. So many old friends and crushes who’ve gone on and, unfairly, gotten married—or even worse, married well. Number three, anyone more inspiring than me. The other night, this guy I know got behind a piano and brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to shake him.

This tells you where my head was at when I flew to Southeast Asia in 2006: I had my BB gun cocked and leveled, aiming to knock down the love and inspiration targets, at least. When I ended my last letter, I was cutting across the Strait of Singapore, true love at my side, about to rough up a band of human traffickers on the Indonesian island of Batam. The ocean receded a bit from my sights, though. It drained away.


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