Suburban Silence, Part One.

 

I don’t ever talk about it. No one knows I feel this way. They can’t understand. They don’t want to understand. They see the world the way they want to see it. To them I am just a twenty-seven-year-old fuck up.

I know they think I am a loner. I hate that they think this way about me. I want to have deep connections with other people. I want friends but I am picky about who my friends are so I end up with no friends. I know this may sound snobby, but I don’t go in on friends if I do not think they are worth it. I just cannot do the superficial friends thing. I can’t have friends that I only talk with occasionally. I know some people are recharged and energized by this but not I. I want my interactions to be deep.

I like people who have personalities that I can mesh with. Low key personalities is what I gravitate towards. I just can’t make friends with people who are loud and obnoxious. Most people tend to be this way so it is hard. I need friends who can talk about things that I like to talk about. I can’t just talk about the weather and superficial things. I know extroverts can do this but I can’t.

I don’t just talk to random people, but when I do they never fit my criteria. So I end up with no friends.

Sometimes I will make friends because I do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings but deep down I am not feeling it. I know that this is not the kind of person I want to be friends with.

I don’t know. I want to have people to connect with at a deeper level but I don’t go by myself to the places these people hang out. Feels too risky for me. I know I should push through this. I know I should just suck it up and go but I don’t. Being so scared and selective severely lessens the odds of me meeting people. I want to meet other people but I am so scared and selective that I don’t try.

If people initiate with me, if they start talking to me, I will talk their ear off. I am not able to initiate, which statistically lowers my ability to have friends. People who are able to initiate conversations with random people, have a lot more friends and fun experiences. This is an ability or skill I just don’t have.

To initiate feels morally wrong to me, even though it would probably be in my best interests to try and initiate more. But it feels like I would be being someone who I am not. But because I am not willing to be something I am not, I end up not getting the results I would like to have.

I feel so angry about this. I have to be something that I am not in order to get someplace that would benefit me. I want the benefits but I do not want to be something that I am not. I would prefer to be able to get these benefits by just being myself.

It makes me so angry.

I guess, I guess that if you are already the kind of person who is a sell-out it doesn’t matter so much but I do not want to have to become a sell-out to get what would be good for me. Yes, I want all the things that come from being a sell-out, but once you become a sell-out you can’t come back from it. You end up losing all your time and are always worried about work.

I don’t want to end up this way. They don’t understand this about me. It is not that I am lazy and a loner. There is much more to it than this.

I want to be able to maintain whatever sense of self that I have left. Maybe I am asking too much? Maybe I am not being realistic?

I know it is possible to work a job and still maintain a sense of self but I often feel like it is one or the other for me. Where would I get the energy to do both? I don’t know if I could personally do it without a specific kind of discipline. I’ve never been able to be disciplined. It is possible to do everything that is asked of you and maintain your sense of self but I just don’t know where all this energy would come from. But it could happen. I would have to be in the right mindset to make it happen.

I am just really scared of becoming that kind of person who says that they do not want to do something but they are going to do it anyways because they have to. I can do this. I can become this kind of person but I feel like once I do there will be no turning back. If I get to this point I will just be mad and pissed off all the time. It feels imprisoning. No time to do what you want because all your time is spent around work. I will end up mad all the time.

The Man Who Discovered Happiness

The entire world knows of him. The most popular name since Einstein. It is miraculous how he could do what he did. All discoveries and inventions are minor in comparison, since he was able to make just about the entire world happy.

It didn’t take long either since once he announced his discoveries and traveled the world speaking about what he discovered, everyone’s brain lit up. The darkness was forever lifted. People got it.

The unifying thing about humans is not a single one does not want to be happy. The singular shared goal of all human life is happiness. We seek it out in so many different ways. It is what every human being aspires towards so once he was able to figure out how people could actually be happy all the time, it caught like a fire in a dry forest.

 

His name was Joe Ollman. Obviously he has been dead for some time now, but his discovery has still to this day changed the lives of everyone on planet earth. Even though we all live indoors now and are continually on-line, we have all found a happiness that is far greater than any kind of happiness experienced by humans who were off-line and went outdoors. Psychotherapy, psychiatry, life-coaches, self-help gurus, spiritual gurus, all of these professions are a thing of the past. No longer needed. In school I read about how many, many, many years ago, these were the most popular professions. They were everywhere and bookstores were filled with self-help and psychology books written by these people. Not any more. None of them exits today, since everyone is happy.

Joe Ollman. This is a name which will never be forgotten as long as humans are around. You can ask anyone, even children who Joe Ollman was and they will tell you the man who discovered happiness. And his discovery was not even that difficult. It is strange that authentic happiness eluded humans for so long. Joe Ollman just made it very easy for everyone to understand and implement it.

 

For those of you who are interested, Ollman’s Theory of Happiness is: To be happy is the absence of negative thought. Pretty simple, right? That as long as a person has negative thoughts they will not be able to be happy. In order to be happy a person must be able to eradicate all negative thinking. Sounds simple but not so easy. The genius of Joe Ollman was that he made it easy.

When Joe Ollman was alive he lived in a society that created deep unhappiness. The society that Ollman lived in was so dysfunctional that the vast majority of citizens had to take pills to make them feel better and more functional in what he called “The Sick Society.” Can you believe that? Society was at one time so dysfunctional and unhealthy that people had to take a pill, which generated more serotonin in their brain chemistry so that they could function better in that society. Even though it was over sixty years ago since things have really changed it still surprises me that this is how things once were.

People were continually worried about having enough money and what other people thought of them. People distracted themselves with things that caused them to feel even more empty inside. The routine and monotony in people’s lives caused them to live with this empty feeling inside, which drove them into states of deep anger and depression. Wow. Everyone was stressed out since surviving in The Sick Society caused a person to have to do a lot of things that they did not want to do. People had to pretend to be happy about working at jobs that they did not feel happy at. Everyone was disconnected from one another. No real relationships were able to be sustained in this harsh climate of anger, addiction, worry and depression. People pursued happiness but could never find it because their heads were filled with negative thoughts and people spent most of their time lost inside their heads. Fear prevented almost everyone from living the life that they wanted to really live. People were committing suicide and violent crimes everywhere. Men interested in power and money ran the world and the masses were much too afraid to rise up against the state. The people were powerless. They had no choice but to submit. It was pure madness. The only thing that could help this situation were psychiatric pills. It was the real Dark Age.

 

Joe Ollamn is a global hero because he is single-handedly responsible for bringing people out of these dark ages. He basically rescued everyone from the darkness and brought almost everyone out into the light. All with his very simple Theory Of Happiness. Joe Ollman was also once a very depressed and negative man. He admitted to often thinking about suicide and then he realized that there could be an alternative way. He did not have to physically die as much as he needed to psychologically change. Ollman realized that he needed to eradicate negative thoughts.

Ollman started practicing Mindfulness meditation intensively so that he could develop the awareness needed to know when he was starting to have negative thoughts and feelings. “When the emptiness and darkness was starting to creep in,” he often said. Once he was able to have this awareness he could catch it and turn the thoughts and feelings into something positive before the negativity snowballed into a miserable state. The importance of awareness in being a happy person was not discovered by Ollman but it was really brought into the mainstream by him. Today most people practice mindfulness meditation and it is because humans are much more aware that they are able to subvert negativity the moment it arises.

Ollman’s Theory Of Happiness stresses that if a person wants to be happy they must be able to not dwell in their heads. That dwelling or ruminating in thought is unhappiness. In order to avoid this a person must engage in distractions that allow them to feel engaged, focused and better about themselves when finished with the distractions. People just needed to become better able at choosing more quality distractions for themselves rather than just taking what is being offered by the highest bidder. It is because of Ollman’s discovery that Hollywood, Netflix, HBO, social media, cable television, most forms of advertising, Amazon Prime are now things of the past. Corporations that created and profited off of human misery are now gone! People now actually live quality lives. Who would have ever thought? All because of one man.

 

Ollman once said in a YouTube interview, “If human beings want to be happy they must be able to remain present and aware. It is so crucial that people are present and engaged in their lives in a carefree kind of way. If a person wants to be happy they must be carefree because if they are not stress and worry and depression will quickly rise up. The Sick Society did not allow people to be carefree. Everyone was worried and stressed out all the time and this is why unhappiness was such an epidemic. If people really want happiness it is so important that they are able to live in  a carefree way. Moment by moment, day by day without worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When a person is truly happy they are fully in the moment. They are fully content and engaged in the moment without a care in the world. The moment a person is no longer carefree, unhappiness sets in. The thing about humans is that we do have the ability to be carefree. We just need to exercise this ability or potential more regularly through mindfulness meditation practice.”

This was once of the most viewed videos in YouTube history and it is where Ollamn’s Theory of Happiness was presented to the world. Einstein wrote books and papers but it is interesting how things change. Ollman wrote no books or papers but presented his discoveries through YouTube videos. No one reads books anymore. Everyone just watches YouTube videos and Ollman was visionary enough to know that this would be the case one day. Ollman was such a genius and I am so grateful for his presence on planet earth. I do not know what the hell anyone would do without his Theory Of Happiness. We would all be taking pills and living in that dark and very sick society that almost caused Ollman to take his own life.

I am so happy the dark ages are now behind us.

*This is an essay written by a young girl for her online eighth grade Sociology class.

My Testicular Examination

The doctor wants me to get an ultrasound of my testicle. “Really?” This is what I thought when she told me. As if I had not already gone through enough.

I went in to see him because my testicle had been very swollen for half a year. I put it off for as long as I could, but when my testicle started getting in the way of my ability to walk and cross my legs, I decided to go in. He became a she because he was out sick. When they asked me if I didn’t mind seeing a female doctor I told them it didn’t matter to me. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor is a doctor as far as I am concerned. None of them know what the hell they are talking about.

It was bad enough when she asked me to pull down my pants and with a rubber glove on cupped my testicles in the palm of her left hand. As she turned my testicle around with her two fingers like some sort of fidget cube, I prayed to myself not to get an erection. It would be humiliating if I did. I made myself think of my grandmother in her hospital bed and I told myself there was nothing sexy about a female doctor examining your swollen testicle with a powdered rubber glove on. “Get it together man.” This is what I told myself. Fortunately, I succeeded in my efforts but the moment was awkward for both of us.

As I went to pull up my pants she told me not so fast. She asked me if I had ever had a rectal exam as she put some kind of jelly like liquid on the tip of her pointer finger. I told her I had not and she told me to turn around and that there was a first for everything. She told me that she just wanted to make sure that my prostate was ok. “Ok,” I thought. “Well, let’s just get this over with then,” I said.

She told me how to position myself with my pants down against the examination bed. I was  a good patient and did exactly what she said. When she inserted her jellied pointer finger into my anal cavity and poked around at my prostate I was surprised to feel a strange sensation of pleasure. It had been a very long time since I had felt the sensation of pleasure and did not expect it to come on so fast when I had a finger up my ass.

She told me that everything felt fine and that I could pull up my pants and I pulled up my pants faster than anyone in the history of human civilization has pulled up their pants. I felt very disturbed by the fact that my prostate exam felt so good but impressed that I was capable of pulling up my pants so fast. I fall in love quickly with any woman who can make me feel sexual pleasure so I tried to avoid developing feelings for the doctor as she explained to me her findings from my testicular and prostate exams.

“I would like you to get an ultrasound of your testicle.” This is what she said. “Really?” This is what I thought but did not say it out loud. I am a very compliant patient. My father was a controlling doctor so I know that more agreeable I am, the better the medical care I get will be. She gave me a number to call to schedule the ultrasound and told me to come back and see her a week or so after I have the procedure done.

It has been a few months now since the time I described above. I am yet to call that number, which I have tacked on the wall above my desk. I look at the number every single day but I don’t call. My wife keeps asking me when I am going to do it and I always say, “Soon.” The truth is I really, really do not want to call.

I have had many ultrasounds before. I have had them done on my chest, knees, foot, hand and the one thing I remember about all those ultrasounds is how good they felt. The warm heat from the ultrasound wand moving around in that jelly like substance all over my skin. It was kind of like a sexual fantasy, which was no sexual fantasy at all. I no longer masturbate or have sex with my wife or anyone else (although I am looking if you know anyone). I have not had a pleasurable sexual experience in a long time. I know that if I get that warm ultrasound wand rubbed all over my testicles, the outcome could be sticky.

Every single time I think about scheduling an appointment this imagine comes into my mind: The technician moving the warm wand around my testicle and me trying really hard not to get an erection. But then I do and both the technician and I feel very awkward. Then I orgasm all over the technician’s hand. How humiliating would this be? No way. Even though I am sure these technicians have experienced this before, I don’t want to be that guy. The pleasure I felt during the rectal examination was enough trauma for me.

But now it looks as if I am walking around with a large golf ball in my pants. My testicle has swollen to unbelievable proportions. I know that when people see me, my enlarged testicle bulging through my pants is the first thing they see. How could they not? My testicle is so large now that it is an obvious sign that something is out of place. All my pants are slim fit and at the rate my testicle is growing, it’s only a matter of weeks before none of my pants fit.

If I could just cut the testicle off to avoid having this ultrasound procedure done, I would. However, self-mutilation is not my thing. I am going to have to adopt an attitude of I Do Not Give A Fuck. I Do Not Give A Fuck if I develop an erection and ejaculate during the ultrasound procedure. I have been telling myself for years that I need to practice Not Giving A Fuck. I Give Too Much Of A Fuck what other people think and I disdain this about myself. It is a horrible way to live because then you go through life never really getting to be yourself. Those who Give A Fuck what other people think, live in bondage. I tell myself that this is a good opportunity to practice Not Giving A Fuck. “Just call and go get it over with,” I tell myself. Don’t Give A Fuck. But I still am yet to call. I am going to put it off for as long as I can because no matter how hard I try not To Give A Fuck, I still fucking do.

Living Wrong

I hate cobwebs. I don’t like seeing them in the corners of my house or on my things. When I see them I will try and annihilate them.

This Person whom I am writing about does not do anything about the cobwebs. This Person lets the cobwebs grow everywhere, either not seeing them or not caring about them. Maybe This Person just expects someone else to take care of the hard work. This Person would let his/her entire house become one large cobweb and then maybe This Person might act to get rid of the cobwebs. But not before.

This Person is many people. Maybe you know This Person or someone like This Person. A person, who in your mind, is living wrong.

Obviously, This Person would disagree with all that I am writing here because the only way that This Person can remain This Person is through a continual defensive reflex. If they were not always defending themselves, they would have to change.

This person seems not to care about refining any sensibilities. Intellectual, aesthetic, environmental, political. Developing any or all of these sensibilities does not seem to appeal to This Person. Developing sensibilities takes hard work. A person has to remain curious and continually seek out challenging information and knowledge. They have to continually put themselves in uncomfortable situations. This Person prefers easy entertainment, comfort and simple distractions. Things that do not ask too much of them.

The artist Chuck Close said, “Whenever you reach a fork in the road, take the most difficult route because everybody else is going to be taking the easy route.” This Person always takes the easier route, thus never really distinguishing themselves in any one thing.

This Person is content being ok at things. Not bad, not great. Just ok. This Person does what they need to do to be good or ok at things and nothing more. This Person does not like hard work. This Person starts many things but struggles to stay engaged if it is too hard. Like I said This Person prefers what is easy. Simple distractions, sleep, hanging out, work if they must, doing what others force them to do but what they would rather not do (clean house, pay bills, clean car, take care of themselves, etc…)

This Person is not that driven to do much unless it is easy. This Person prefers to do the bare minimum to get by. They will work but not more than necessary. Sometimes they will have a burst of energy and get really into something, but it will not last unless the something is easy.

I can not help but think this is living wrong. In my mind it is important to excel at things. It is important to work hard at things that interest you. It is important to cultivate sensibilities and challenge yourself. It is important to develop your intellect. To put yourself in situations where you have to continually push yourself to do what is not easy. This is what it means to thrive.

Humans are like slabs of stone. As we grow we carve away at these stones creating shape and texture. Most people’s stones look ugly, lazy, basic and very unfinished. Most stones all look the same in this way. For most people carving the stone is just too hard and they give up, barely working on it anymore past the age of 45. A lot of people expect other people to carve their stone for them. They don’t want to do the work. To have a stone that looks distinguished, unique, one of a kind and has a beautiful shape- takes continual effort. You have to work hard on it for a bit everyday.

Even if it means maintaining a beautiful living environment. It is important to continually keep things in their right place. To not grow lazy with the care of your home. Once you let your home go and become comfortable with cobwebs everywhere, how can a person excel at anything in life? A person’s living environment and the care they take of it determines the degree to which they will be able to live right.

If This Person has the ways they are living all wrong pointed out to them they become immediately defensive and withdraw further into incapacitation. If you point out to This Person that they do not exercise, that they would benefit from being more physically active- this person will withdraw into more sedentariness. If you point out to This Person that they should challenge themselves more intellectually, they will read less intellectually challenging things. It is an unconscious and reflexive behavior.

Pointing out to This Person how they are living wrong is a battle that can not be won. All a person can do is accept that This Person is just not interested much in pushing themselves right now, in refining themselves, in differentiating themselves from the mass of people who take the easier route. A person can just pick up the slack where they can, continue to take the harder route within themselves and not worry about This Person who is living wrong.

Everyone is free to live their life in a way they feel is right. Maybe This Person thinks that I am living wrong.

Who am I to say that This Person is living wrong? Maybe they are living right! Maybe life is a meaningless experience and all of our efforts to refine and distinguish ourselves are ultimately all for nothing? Maybe if we could just learn to care less, let ourselves go a bit more, not care about the cobwebs that will continue to grow no matter how hard we try to get rid of them- maybe then we could have a happier life? Maybe the harder route isn’t that great after all.

Who am I to say? All I can do is live in a way that feels right for me and try not to force This Person away from living wrong. The moment I push, force, encourage or try and motivate This Person to move in a different direction is usually the moment I start living wrong.

The Suburban Captive, Part One

The main task, effort, lesson, understanding or goal (whatever you want to call it) for the suburban captive is to learn how to be completely content and happy within their captivity. No easy undertaking and often one must go through years of hating and denying their captivity in order to get to a place where they are able to embrace and make friends with it.

These years of denying and hating captivity and the experiences that a person has when in this stage or state (depression, emptiness, self-destruction, addiction and excessive boredom) can be the subject matter for volumes upon volumes of books. Outside of a few novels and essays, this subject matter has yet to be undertaken or covered by writers.

Everyone who lives in the suburbs experiences suburban captivity. There is just no way around it when living in the suburbs. Avoiding captivity when living in the suburbs is like avoiding getting wet when swimming in the ocean. Cannot happen.

Captivity is occurring when there is no place for a person to go where they can feel permanently freed. A person in suburban captivity can’t go anywhere and be authentically free. They are held captive in and by their homes. Even though a home and garden can be incredibly beautiful, comfortable and filled with all kinds of delights- a person is still captive there because they really have no place to go.

The vast majority of people who live in the suburbs are continually trying to escape from their captivity. Their lives are a continual effort to escape. They travel, they go out to restaurants, they go to movies, they go hiking, they go to work, they go to friend’s homes, they go to bars, they go to parties, they watch television, they are obsessed with the cell phones- always trying to escape captivity. But this way of life is very draining and often they embrace their captivity when they have no energy left.

The suburban captive who has fully embraced his captivity is full of energy but does not use this energy to go anywhere. Instead, he uses the energy to successfully live a life while embracing suburban captivity.

Those who are preoccupied with trying to escape their captivity, deep down know that there is no place to go. Even though they often think about all the things they have to do and all the places they want to go- they often know that this doing and going and consuming never really delivers them the escape they are searching for. The reason for this is because this constant doing, going and consuming is what causes much of the captivity in the first place. One is wrong in thinking that escape equals freedom. What kind of prisoner escapes and experiences more freedom as a result? Very few.

Most suburban captives search for escape their entire lives. Some finally realize that there is actually no place to go, no place to escape to. They then stop needing to leave their homes (unless necessary) and begin learning how to enjoy captivity. How to really settle in. This is not a surrender but instead it is an embrace. It is a way of life that can bring a person great fulfillment when done correctly.

The suburban captive is held captive by their homes, their expenses, their banks, their garden, their television, their dogs, their furniture, their books, their records, their appliances, their electricity, their water- all the things which make up a suburban life. These things erect an invisible wall around a person which shelters them from the chaos of the outside world. But in order to maintain this shelter a person must work, and the unpleasantness of this work for money often causes the suburban captive to long for escape.

More escape just builds bigger walls that a person will never be able to climb over or break through.

The true suburban captive has stopped needing to go out. They go to work and go out for a few things (occasional meals, trips to the market and social situations) but they no longer need to go out into the world. They once went out into the world to do things, to buy things, to have experiences- but they eventually realized that this does not work. They reach a point where they realize they are living in captivity and that there is no escape from it. Like any skilled captive in any situation, at this point the suburban captive embraces their captivity. They learn to build a fulfilling life within the walls (which is actually how to get rid of the walls) that can never be seen from the outside. Suburban walls exist within.

Once the suburban captive has reached the stage of embracing their captivity, realizing that escape cannot be found in buying things, going out, spending money, promiscuous sex, alcohol, socializing and even working- this is the stage when the suburban captive begins to deepen their relationship within themselves. The successful suburban captive is at home within. A fully realized person. Self-actualized. Nothing any longer stresses him out. He is completely fulfilled and at peace within himself, therefore nothing outside himself can cause much distress. Most suburban captives are continually getting stressed out because they are avoiding settling in to themselves. They are still look for escape on the outside.

The suburban captive who has embraced their captivity knows that they exist in captivity. They have accepted their captivity even though no one can see the walls. From the outside everything looks affluent, privileged, free, calm and beautiful so no one imagines that captivity could occur. How could you be held captive when living within such beauty? But it is exactly the act of owning and sustaining these things which creates the suburban captive. The only way that the suburban captive can truly be free and happy within this kind of affluent captivity (the worst kind of captivity is the kind of captivity which everyone is experiencing, but no one talks about because they think their captivity is their freedom) is to acknowledge and embrace the captivity which they have taken suburban residence in.

Once a suburban captive has done this, once they have had enough of the pain involved in trying to escape, they can get down to the real business of cultivating a truly fulfilling life from within, at home.

An Interview About Writing on Medium

Why do you keep writing on Medium?

What do you mean?

Why do you keep doing it?

First off, I write for myself. Then I sometimes post things on Medium.

You post on Medium almost every day.

Ok, maybe this is true but I write for myself first.

And you post on Medium because it says you have over a thousand followers?

Yeah, it is kind of cool to think that I have that many people reading my stuff.

You know that is a big bluff right? You know that this is a huge, well thought out scam played on writers?

What are you talking about?

I am talking about manipulating writer’s deepest sensitivities and longings. The creators of Medium have found a way to do this. Every writer dreams about having over a thousand or thousands of readers. But you don’t have a thousand readers on Medium. You are lucky if you get ten. The people who designed Medium just set things up so it seems like a lot of people might read your work.

Why would they do this?

Because, it keeps people posting content to their site. What better way to keep people posting content for free than providing them with the idea that lots of people follow their work. It is a genius concept but the trick is being played on the writers. Medium consumes content in the same way that your stomach consumes endless amounts of food. They live off the content posted to their site. They are sucking writers dry so that they can continue to thrive. And what do writers who post on Medium get?

What?

The illusion that they are being read by many. Now maybe if you post popular kinds of content you might get more readers, but still it is not as many as you think.

What do you mean by popular writing?

You know, the stuff that the not so smart masses want to read. The stuff about how to become a better and more productive person. The stuff about technology and business. The “How To” stuff that people consume and then forget about in a few days because they have moved on to the next meal. This is the stuff that Medium fills up on. They are just a consumer of endless amounts of motivational and technological content. None of what is being written on Medium will matter in a few years, let alone a week.

Shit, that is bleak.

Yes, and you try and post quality, creative stuff on Medium. You try and post what could be considered literature but no one wants this kind of content on Medium. It is not easy and motivational enough. It makes readers to aware of parts of their lives they wish to forget by reading popular motivational content on Medium. The irony is that in a hundred years, some of what you post on Medium may be the only stuff still being read.

So you are saying that Medium is a good long term, preservational platform for my work?

It has that possibility for you. You can use Medium in the same way that they are using you.

How so?

You let them manipulate you into thinking you have thousands of readers and you let them consume your hard-earned content for free but you potentially get a platform that will preserve your best work for centuries to come.

Hmmm. Never thought of it like this.

Medium is filled with a sea of crap. Often it takes humans half a decade or more to find the quality stuff. Medium is one safe space for your work to dwell in obscurity for a while. You are the fish out of water on here.

But if I was a fish in the water with all the other fish, I would have a lot more readers. I could possibly make money and get more known from what I write.

Yes, but your work will be completely forgotten in a hundred years. With what you are writing now- you still have a shot. Short term pain for longer term gain.

Interesting. Well, thank you for the perspective. I really appreciate it. It helps.

Sure. Oh, and also for what it is worth- you might get a few more readers now and then if you get better at editing what you write.

Yes, I know but I am imperfect when it comes to this skill. I do the best I can. Besides, few real writers are ever any good at editing. I am perfectly comfortable with fucking up. A real writer without an editor is like a bike without a rider.

I understand. You do the best you can with what you got. There are some real writers, as you put it, who are also really good at editing.

Yes, I know. But they are not the majority.

Yes. This is true. A real writer is good at creating the soul in what is written and an editor makes the soul presentable to the reader. This is why most writers are not real writers- there is no soul in what they write. It’s almost robotic.

Exactly. But the editing is great.

Yes. True.

Well, thanks again for your perspective.

Sure. Keep at it man. Don’t give up. You are good at what you do.

Thanks.

The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.