ISSUE 73

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 Hey, it’s me, your emotions. I’m taking over, seizing the wheel, jamming your life into high gear, and starting a breaking-news adrenaline ride that ends in you running from the police in your underwear. ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?
 Don’t worry, whether it’s rage, depression, or a heady attraction to someone of the opposite sex, I’ll jump the turnstile of your reason, the barrier for guys with sagging pants and women you confuse with prostitutes, the one that disagrees when you say, “I want the one with the emotions of a boa constrictor,” “Let’s just be miserable forever,” and “FURY, SMASH, SMASH, GRAB, POUND, SHOUT, SHOUT, SMASH, BAAAGGGGRRRAAAAUUUU (???).”
 As captain of this ship, I have banished reason to the leaky cargo hold so far in your subconscious it only comes up when you realize patching drywall is hard, not to mention fixing the lamp, stove, TV, most of the glassware, the neighbor’s satellite dish, and the fragile emotions of a child.
 And when the crew eventually mutinies and reinstates reason, your life will return to a ho-hum average as compared to the glitz and glamor of euphoria and devastation. It’s going from Las Vegas to a marketing job in Ohio or from a hurricane to wading around in three feet of water and seeing if the TV still works.  
 But right now is the fun part, unless it’s not. Your whims and desires may be so frantic you might confuse yourself with Old Testament God, the one who resorts to genocide way too quickly and doesn’t joke around—unless it involves something painful like appendicitis or postpartum depression, stuff you would be like, No, that’s definitely not funny. The word “absurd” doesn’t even touch it, though “unglorified bedlam” and a “chaotic cocktail of crap” comes close.
 How did I come to be in control? It happens to everyone—hormones, your upbringing, raging insecurities, a culture where following your heart is normal and easy. Unfortunately, you will not question where your heart is going, why it has a noose, and how it supposes to cross the harrowing chasm of “He Obviously Has Serious Psychological Problems” and “She Has No Concept Of Boundaries… Like What The Hell.”
 But the real trick is to make giving in sound… just so, so good. Like a raptor hunting down fat kids in Jurassic Park, you want this desperately. You may even read about people in experiences like yours, idiots who do idiot things and then justify them by being an idiot. They write in to newspapers and become examples in self-help books, begging for someone to justify their rampant enabling, adultery, and cats, just way too many cats.
 And when you read about it, you think, I would never do that. That’s just for people who hate their lives and try to fill the void with felines. I know my limits when it comes to cats. One or two at the most. Maybe three, if it’s been a really bad week. Yeah, sure.
 Realizing that you, yes, you are the idiot will come thirty seconds to fifty years in the future. Or never. There’s always that possibility. Until that point your situation will seem normal, like how being shelled becomes normal to people in a protracted civil war or scrounging through dumpsters for half-eaten hamburgers is to a druggy or your frugal parents. 
 Instead of coming to terms with reality, you will force things, like jeans that are two sizes too small but look super cool or dressing up a dog in a reindeer costume. This terrible situation will work. It has to. Like invading Russia or playing in the NBA, you can do it if you believe in yourself.
 Throughout this process of emotional intoxication, people may love you, hate you, or come to that place of I-am-so-confused-right-now. No matter what others think, it’s worth it—at least in the short term. Remember that reason is gone. For all intents and purposes, you may as well be making your life decisions based on superstition, colors, or what your invisible friend recommends. So, sit back, enjoy, and, for God’s sake, put on your seatbelt because it’s going to be one hell of a ride.      
   
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