thing to strive for.


he was feeling weird. he'd been feeling weird for a while, though, so what did it matter? it wasn't just the pain he felt in his arm. he had slept on it wrong a few nights ago, but the pain persisted. it was a shooting pain that became present when he moved his arm a certain way, like when he was trying to take off his sweatshirt without stretching the neck hole. he was being weird about sweatshirts. he liked buying sweatshirts because they were soft and warm and all he'd been feeling lately was tough and cold.

he couldn't do much of anything. he'd set unrealistic goals for himself like getting grad school applications ready within a month. a month was a reasonable time, except that he'd be going on vacation to another country, so he wouldn't really have time to put together an acceptable application. he knew the real reason he was applying, anyway. it was to give him something to do, to take his mind off his troubles. the thing was, though, he didn't have any troubles.

he told his friend about this, about not having any troubles, especially when it came to his job. his job was relatively easy, and he did nothing but show up and collect checks at the end of the month. this was what he thought he had wanted for a very long time, to be well-compensated for not doing a damn thing. and now that he had acquired it, he was still dissatisfied, and he wondered what was wrong with him. "what's wrong with me?" he said to his friend. "you've got nothing to strive for," his friend told him. and as usual, she was right.

so, there he was, striving for something. an application. a writing sample. a personal statement and a resume. an informed wish to study at a particular university, whatever the hell that meant. it didn't mean anything to him, what he was going for. you see, he was on the plane recently, and there was a medical emergency. a man was short of breath, and he was having a panic attack. the stewardess, a busty blonde in her forties, asked if there were any doctors on board. he wasn't a doctor, so what could he do? he couldn't do shit, so he kept on watching a movie on his ipod. he was as useless as the flotation device underneath his seat.

why couldn't he strive for something important? why did he like writing all these shitty stories and having internal dialogues with himself? he'd think about how other people felt, like how, at the restaurant, one cousin brought up to another cousin the whole thing about him not getting a christmas present one year. it had been years since the christmas present incident, but there it was, being talked about like it had happened yesterday. the family dynamics would never change. they'd forever be teenagers, going for the jugular.

and he'd feel weird, not right, going into the nice mall. the nice mall was full of young blonde women and young girls with big brown eyes, white smiles, and tanned legs. he'd be aware of the zits around his mouth, how his shoes were always dirty, and how his hair didn't grow out right - all poof on the sides and flat, forward on the top. even though most considered him thin, he'd always have love-handles and a little gut. he'd walk around and think, what was the point? he was a dog on the race track, forever chasing that dumb, stupid rabbit.

he was very comfortable in his bedroom, all by himself, connected to the world via the internet, but disconnected from everyone in every other way. a part of him wished he could just do this forever. who needed friends when he had books? who needed conversation? he had records. he had everything he needed, or at least he imagined, right there in that little empty room of his. he liked hearing his parents talk about tv shows they were watching in the other room. they'd laugh and comment about how so-and-so was probably gay. it was all very amusing to him, and he wished he could just stay that way forever.

who needed the world? he had his thoughts.

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