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MODERN DI$PARITY: Part Two, Chapter 15, scene 113

When I think back on it now, I still don’t understand why I acted the way I did. I knew most of my decisions were unconscionable then the same as I know it now and yet I couldn’t stop myself. I think that maybe instead of putting all my energy into trying to be happy or content or a better person, I was simply doing everything I could not to feel uncomfortable (while almost always giving into my baser desires) and pushing so hard against that continual force led me to delude myself into thinking I was winning the battle. I didn’t really want anything in life except Sadie and, since she didn’t want me back with the same ferocity with which I yearned for her (or at all), everything else was a disappointment and hardly worth pursuing beyond going through the motions expected of a privileged white male.

I didn’t care about my job, but I worked hard because it was something to put myself into. I didn’t care about Cali, but I fucked her hard because she was something to stick my dick into. And I didn’t care about my life, so I didn’t care about the decisions I made or the emotional toll that it would eventually take on me, falling apart while somehow managing not to break the illusion of stability. Part of me thinks I tried so hard holding it together because I knew stability was the only thing Sadie really wanted. But very little about my behavior made me a viable candidate for taking care of her. I clearly couldn’t even take care of myself.

Sadie obviously liked my job and the daily (albeit fleeting) luxuries it afforded, and I knew she held some degree of affection for me, though I wonder if the rare moments of seeming attraction were just her vain attempts to see in me what I saw in her. She was smarter than me and better looking than me and an all-around more competent human than I was capable of at the time. I didn’t deserve her and we both knew I didn’t, but I think maybe she felt sorry for me and it was only her pity that begot those rare reciprocations of affection when I actually felt her kiss me back—the cool, sweet taste of her mouth a cruel reminder of the dream from which I would always inevitably wake.

I didn’t even get to the freeway after leaving the bar before a small internal tirade of anxieties, depression, isolation, self-loathing, and neurosis swelled to nearly a panic attack. Waiting at the stoplight before the onramp, I opened the door of my rented Toyota Yaris and vomited onto the pavement.

It was June of 2010 and the late-evening air above the 405 freeway tasted metallic. As I rounded the curve at the base of the hill beneath the Getty Center, the lights of those three tall buildings on Santa Monica Boulevard came into view, like steps leading into darkness. Retribution was coming for me. 


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