With A Fatalistic Sigh And A Shrug Of Resignation, I Attempt To Continue This Charade Without Being So Damned Dramatic All The Time by Brian Polk

Bug Face by Jason White

With A Fatalistic Sigh And A Shrug Of Resignation, I Attempt To Continue This Charade Without Being So Damned Dramatic All The Time
By Brian Polk
Art by Jason White
Published Issue 127, July 2024

One Summer My Roommate Experienced Some Kind Of Spiritual Awakening, So He Gave Away All His Things — Only To Realize He Wasn’t Really All That Awoken, At Which Point, He Asked For His Things Back

I remember telling him at the time that he probably shouldn’t give me his first pressing of Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, but he insisted. Likewise for the old issues of the zine Burn Collector he all but forced on me. “Are you sure you’re not going to need this stuff?” I asked. “This is some cool shit.” He just smirked and said, “I just don’t want the things I own to start owning me,” which I think is a quote from Fight Club — a movie he must have just watched. (He also used the word “minimalism” a lot during this era.) So I allowed him to liberate himself by keeping the cool shit he just gave me. A couple months later, he realized that his new spiritual path wasn’t as fulfilling as he thought it would be, and he subtly asked if I was super attached to my new things (his old things). I told him I was. Then he launched into this super sad sob story about how he missed having record and zine collections, and how he wasn’t the type of person who should be dabbling in spirituality, etc. Long story short, I kept his shit and wished him the best on his future knee-jerk life decisions. 

That Same Summer, My Other Roommate Read Catcher In The Rye And Started Referring To Everyone As “Phonies”

I’m pretty sure he was supposed to have read the novel in high school, but was too busy smoking weed and skateboarding to bother. But then when we started going to college, he realized he didn’t want to be uncultured anymore and started reading all the books he skipped in his younger years. Anyway, between my one roommate giving away his possessions because he thought he was Enlightened or whatever, and this one calling everyone “phony bastards,” it was definitely the summer of self-righteousness. (Also, you really shouldn’t let any book or movie turn you into a smug loudmouth. The odds are pretty good that you’ll regret your newfound pompous, self-satisfied behavior in a scant few months.)

One Of These Days, I Bet Romance Ebook Publishers Start Including A “Jump To The Fucking” Button

You know how most authors of online recipes started including a “jump to the recipe” button after everyone made fun of their self-indulgent narratives that you had to scroll through to get to the cooking? Since a large portion of romance aficionados are just in it for the steamy sex segments, publishers should consider this innovation to help their readers cut to the chase. Never mind the filler — some folks just don’t want foreplay! That’s why a “jump to the fucking” button would help a lot of frustrated people who just need some action in their lives. Because when it comes to matters of food and sex, a lot of us simply do not have time to wait. 

Sometimes I Play “Connections” From The New York Times, And I Get Purple First

And I think, I am so smart! From here on out, I’m going to get purple first every time! Then I play it the next day and the only reason I get purple is through the process of elimination. And then I have no choice but to go back to hating fucking purple, because, like, who comes up with that shit?

The News, My Bank Account, Test Results From The Doctor, Responses To Comments I Made On Social Media While Drunk

That’s my own personal Purple Group if I wrote for “Connections.” And if you were playing and figured it out via process of elimination, the title for the group would say, “THINGS BRIAN HATES CHECKING THESE DAYS.”

I Suppose I Should Be More Grateful, But To Tell You The Truth, I’m Simply Out Of Energy

Yeah, I know I should try to be more appreciative of all the reasons my life isn’t terrible, but I am exhausted by all the reasons my life is. For example, my job wears me out, maintaining a romantic relationship after the 15 year mark is unexpectedly difficult, bills keep coming even though I keep paying them, the planet is dying and that makes my existential outlook a total nightmare. And sure, I’m not bedridden, hungry, in a war zone, or chronically ill. But that doesn’t mean I have the energy to keep any kind of appreciation for my well-being in the forefront of my thoughts. Most of the time I’m working and getting yelled at by customers or management or both. And after a while everything just takes its toll. So while I’m glad I’m not dead — yay for me! — I can’t bring myself to thank the universe. Maybe I’ll try to summon some gratitude tomorrow if I have any luck breaking the cycle of chronic insomnia tonight (because if I am tired, I have no hope of invoking anything resembling positivity). You see, this is why people do drugs.

Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.

Jason White is an artist living in the suburbs of Chicago. His favorite mediums are oil on canvas and pencil & ink drawings. When he was a kid he cried on the Bozo Show. His work varies from silly to serious and sometimes both. Check out more of his work on Instagram.

Check out Brian’s June issue install, And Now Another Half Hearted Attempt To Figure This Place Out, and Jason’s June install, the companion art to Zac Dunn’s BONES, or head to our Explore section to see more of their work.