May 21, 2022

I’ll Start This New Project Just as Soon as All Conditions in My Life Are Perfect

All right, today’s the day. Time to end this weird, stagnant phase of my life and start writing my first novel. I’ve been putting it off for months, but I won’t tolerate another excuse or wait a moment longer to get creative!

Now I’m sitting at my desk, firing up the ol’ Mac, and—whoa, hang on. My snake plant looks droopy. Does it need water? More sunlight? Hmm. A quick search reveals that, as some sort of sick joke, God has made the signs of under-watering identical to the signs of over-watering. Ha, good one, God! I can’t possibly start a new project surrounded by dying plants. I must buy and read “The Houseplant Handbook: The Complete Guide to Palms, Bulbs, Ferns, Cacti, Succulents, Flowering Plants, and More.” I’ll master plant care before I get too absorbed in my writing. Then I’ll start my novel.

Phew, all done! That only took a week. Now I’m ready to write and—wait, I feel something. Boy, am I tired. All that plant care was draining. Should I really add something new to my life when I’m a sleep-deprived zombie? Before I write, I need a decent bedtime meditation, some great memory-foam pillows, a brand new organic mattress, and two weeks off to drive to every mattress store in Austin and test all the options. Then I can become the next Hemingway!

Wow, I love all these mattresses, and I had no idea that mattress stores are all full of hot babes. I’d like to be a writer who dates a hot babe. And how do you attract such a babe? Simple—you get swole. I don’t need to be some freakishly ’roided up bodybuilder, but I definitely want to be the kind of writer who’s a sexually perfect Adonis with nine-per-cent body fat and dreamy, faraway eyes.

O.K., that wasn’t too distracting. It only took fourteen months to catch up on sleep and get in such great shape that I can see all five of my abs. Time to wri—

Oh, man! Look at that. A new e-mail from my stepdad, Robert, and the subject is “OMEGA-3 FISH OIL AND ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.” Ever since I told Robert about my health journey, he’s been “educating” me. I must immediately read, analyze, and rebut the fifty-six inaccuracies in this conspiracy theory, otherwise I’ll suffer from the knowledge that someone close to me believes false things, which would undermine my mental stability, and, therefore, my ability to do anything creative.

I’ll just have a nice two-hour screaming phone call with Robert, in which, through my superior reasoning and debate skills, I’ll undo decades of Robert’s idiosyncratic life experience and niche-online-reading habits. Then I’ll convince him that it’s improbable that Bill Gates is a lizard king who is enslaving the human race with vaccines, Robert will stop with these wacky e-mails, and I’ll finally have in-box zero and mental peace enough to make progress on my novel.

Sheesh, this whole Robert debacle really made me think about the importance of family and how I haven’t started one yet. Writing is tough. Writers need a solid support system. That’s why I should wife up; have kids; raise them perfectly; watch them mature into secure, compassionate teens who have a healthy skepticism of unreasonable claims; send them to college without debt; make sure that they get good jobs in biotech; then watch them raise healthy, epistemically responsible families of their own. At that point, I’ll be a jacked, well-slept, very secure, and happy eighty-year-old grandpa who’s ready to say yes to his creative ambitions. Then it’s book time, baby!

Key question: When I’m a grandpa, will I have a 401(k)? Will Social Security be solvent? Will political parties still be screwed up? Ugh! Is it even possible to make progress in your life when you live in a dysfunctional pseudo-democracy? Before I start writing, I’ll probably need to overhaul a lot of aspects of our society and government, and I’ll definitely need to replace our winner-take-all national voting system with a more optimized, ranked-choice system, or better yet a Condorcet voting system, so that I may secure my future, and the future of all children, adults, and retirees. Then I can pen my novel, which, by the way, is a comedic tale about a talking cat named Johnny Whiskers, who starts an underground punk cat band in the fictional dystopian metropolis of Catatonia. Clearly, I have a lot of work to do.

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