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Sometimes I wonder if the art I contribute to this world is hurled into it in a positive or negative way. I often find myself struggling to think of things to say, so I resort to letting my emotions lead the way – paint a tattoo on the parchment, like a shitty paint job in an old apartment, just airing out my sadness and my grievance. What I mean is this: when emotion drives your writing but the emotions you’re often citing are sadness, anxiety, and existential dread then of course week after week this’ll feel like me shitting the bed. If subtlety isn’t dead, then allow me to kill it: sometimes I hate writing about sad things – it’s simply what I’m good at.

But this… this isn’t gonna be that. I’m too exhausted from the constant barrage of sad news. There’s people freezing to death in Texas – icicles composed of flesh and bone, call my heart full of stone but I don’t wanna write about that right now. I wouldn’t even know how. So rather I’m here to just try to write some joy. I don’t know if it will work, but I’d rather employ a little happiness and fun after a week of long despair than resign myself to a broken, uncomfy chair to design more bad tattoos. So let’s just clean the wound with booze and grit our teeth through the sting, find a new song to sing and let loose. A drop of water in a sea of oil. Three parts happiness, hold the turmoil.

Spoiler alert: I actually love being alive! If you’ve read anything else I’ve written, that may come as a surprise, what with the constant philosophical waxing about what it’s like to die but guys I’m here for the long haul. I’m not going out anytime soon. I don’t like my sunsets to come before noon. Besides, I’ve got too much left to do. I’ve never been to the Atlantic Northeast and I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest and I’ve never been to Scotland, Iceland, Denmark, Spain, or France.

There are stories I’m in love with that I haven’t reached the end of, and I’ll be damned if I expire before Rian Johnson makes Knives Out 2, or if I don’t see Cubbies blue in another World Series, or miss out on Campaign 3 of Critical Role, or seriously, I need to know what happens in Season 2 of Lupin, and I’m not a flash in the pan until Apex is actually a dead game and I can rest easy knowing I’m not gonna miss out on new lore. Sure, life is a chore and it’s monotonous and tedious. Some days are just like punching walls with slowly bleeding fists, but my despair functions better as a B-plot. I’ve got things in this life I love and need, things I can’t conceive not existing to love.

Most of life might be out of my control, but damn, I’m on a roll today and I’ll be damned if I can’t check off some boxes before I go.

This poem doesn’t really mean anything. There’s no deeper moral. It’s just me, a dude trying his best to be happy more or less often than he’s sad. A guy trying to remind himself that there are reasons that life is worth living, even if some are just bread and circus. And if I can write a thousand poems where I’m crying or depressed then surely I can write one that ends while I’m happy.

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