21: Your Most Toxic Relationship Is


I get nervous when a server zealously keeps filling up my glass with water when it’s only a quarter empty. It feels like an order. Now you must drink even more water. It feels like I’m accomplishing nothing.

Sometimes out of the corner of my eye I think I see my mom but it’s just a woman who silhouettes like my mom. Short hair. Middle age. Highlights. Glasses. Short. Comfortable. Warm. I feel a pinch of hurt when I realize it’s not her. I start to tear up because I miss her. Then I cry because I don’t.

If someone says you’re a natural at journalism, does that mean you have told other people’s stories for so long it’s all you’re good at? If someone says you’re a natural at writing marketing copy does that mean you’re good at bullshit? Would you believe them if they said you’re a natural at not taking a compliment?

Men cheat when they’re bored with life. Women cheat when they’re bored with men.

To forgive a cheater, you must be on one end or another of the emotional intelligence spectrum. Either very smart or very stupid. No one in the middle ever stays.

When I’m around a large group of conservative people for too long, I start to perform for them. I perform to survive. I perform as a shell inside a shell to keep my insides intact, like a turtle in an army tank. Also, I’m a coward.

I’m walking down the sidewalk and someone else is walking too close behind me. I can hear his shoes click closer, click click, I’m annoyed. I side-eye into the store window we pass so I can glimpse our reflection. He’s a few steps behind me, small and distracted. Thumbs fly over his phone. I slow down so he will pass.

Five minutes later I’m caught up in my tank. I’m thinking about how his close-pedestrian proximity made me scared. And because it made me scared it made me angry first. I look up to find now I’m on someone’s heels. She lets me pass.

I don’t know what Yom Kippur means. But more Jewish children seem to grow up to remain Jewish than Catholic children grow up to remain Catholic. They both seem to feel guilty a lot.

“You get it honest” is something said by people who lie to themselves.

Imagine this: You can pick one person, but only one person, who will have their problems easily resolved for a year.

Jealousy feels like a punch that starts to heal as soon as it hits.

Envy feels like anxiety at twilight.

Imagine this: You can pick one person, but only one person, who will have their problems easily resolved for a year. Did you pick yourself?

Best friendships are determined by compatibility of selfishness and corresponding levels of advantage.

The fact that anyone today could associate all poverty with lack of talent and effort shows just how unevolved we actually are.

People who add “you’re, of course, entitled to your own opinion” in their comments are reminding themselves, not you.

It looks like the words “power mower” would sound the same phonetically. They do not.

I’m afraid everyone else is real and I’m not.


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