ISSUE 6

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  The more you learn about other people, the more you realize everyone is, more or less, absolutely crazy. If you’re one of those levelheaded, even-keeled chaps who do their taxes on time, soon enough you’ll go as crazy as a sugared-up monkey in a McDonald’s ball pit. Oh, it’ll be a break down fit for an eighties disco party—shoelaces will be tied wrong, large boats will be bought on credit, alcohol will be drunk in regrettable quantities, and a fair-to-middling version of Oatmealism will be embraced.[1]
  No, the best strategy is to accept everyone’s psychosis before turning to the Whole Grain Deliverer. Such lunacy, however, makes it arduous to deal with others, who—if we’re honest—are about as easy to understand as a cat that brings you dead birds. Oh, thank you Patch. Thank you for killing something beautiful and putting it on my pillow. I understand and appreciate your contribution to this household.   
  See relationships are like cars, bright and shiny in the beginning and slowly entering a decrepitude that’s sad but also charming. You slam a curb at fifty-five; you hit a mule deer; your taillights stop working because the government[2]; the windows get stuck when something shorts out during a rainstorm. Also, the roof leaks. And the heater is always on. This car shouldn’t be on the road; no cop needs to tell you that—but you wouldn’t trade this vehicle for anything in the world.
  Or maybe human connections are like yoga. It looks easy enough from a glance at Instagram, and honestly if Sally can do it, yoga should be idiot-proof. All I’m saying is that it’s not that hard to figure out our filing system. It’s ALPHABETICAL for god’s sake.   
  But as with most things, the reality is a lot of sweat and flopping around like a decapitated fish, and many go to the Internet for advice instead of consulting a professional, which is bad because that YouTuber doesn’t have any qualifications besides having a camera and being too attractive. It certainly doesn’t help their credibility when they say things like, And while you’re doing this pose, make sure to add some tension to your lower abdominal plexis while relaxing your right thyroid gland and expanding your ether to the edge of your myopic cartilage.
   

[1] Oatmealism: the belief that the universe was originally one big bag of oats until The Great Water Pourer (or Milk Pourer for Reformed Oatmealists) mixed up the vast collection of stars, planets, and cats we see today. Not much is known about their beliefs or their practices besides the fact they have ridiculously good cholesterol.
[2] Goddamn government. 
    
  Or maybe our relationships are more like houses: a derelict cottage, a mansion with some drifters living in the attic, a crack house, a standard suburban home that looks fine but is definitely not, or a two-man tent that is really quite snug and warm. Whatever it is, you know one thing—eventually you’ll have to call a plumber. And may God help you on that day. 
  Of course, houses and relationships will also provide other things that aren’t so potentially disastrous like comfort, security, and a fair share of love. In time, it will become “home,” an eternal concept that can exist in the embrace of a loved one as much as a physical structure.  
  But that doesn’t quite get to it either. Possibly human love is like an animal that’s so hard to take care of it’s going extinct, which is why we see so many divorces these days. It’s like a panda. Sure, we’re all in favor of the idea of pandas but keeping one alive takes a lot of effort, and most of the time we have no idea what we’re doing. [3]
  The only reason we care about the panda is because they’re so damn cute, which is not the case for most humans. Mei Lan the panda looks almost exactly the same as he was when he was born, just bigger and fluffier. That’s certainly not true of any human—besides Morgan Freeman because Morgan Freeman is immortal.
  Yes, a relationship is like a lot of things. It’s like a couple of drunk people trying to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” together. It’s like going camping for the rest of your life, when it’s fun until you realize, uh, you’re stuck there and wood smoke makes you nauseous. It is love; it is anger; it is figuring out someone’s feet smell and they like terrible music and they threw up in the backseat of your car and they use Bing, and thinking, Oh shit and going to the fridge to get some milk and deciding you can be okay with it.  












[3] First of all pandas eat bamboo, something so nutritionally worthless they have to eat twenty to thirty pounds of it per day. Second of all they are dogmatically opposed to furthering their species (at least in captivity). Scientists have even shown pandas pornography and given them an equivalent of Viagra in order to try to get something... anything happening. How these animals have survived for so long is incredible.