Not Satan, Actually

xxxxxxxxx may well have been Satan. Actually, probably worse.

“Um. Hey. Would it be cool if my friend xxxxxxxxx lived with us too?”

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

At least with Satan I could be assured a tan and the most interesting stories ever.1 This oddly-named person offered no such guarantees. But sure, cool, whatever, it doesn’t matter, I like people, right? The more the merrier, right?

Affirmation to those simple queries had always been obvious for me; it was not, though, obvious in this particular moment. The dynamic of something that has always been true suddenly being untrue seems like a reliable major-life-occurrence indicator. And, indeed, that was the reality for me in January 2019.

In case it wasn’t clear, this “major” occurrence was bad. xxxxxxxxx promised to be a reassuring sort of security blanket. While I can understand the compulsion to retreat into isolation during trying times, I knew that would be bad for me. But the exploration of the world and the interesting, new people within it was far less appealing. I felt very fragile, and the energy tax required for proper exploration was too expensive in that diminished state.

I like the notion that you are always wrong anytime you think something is unendurable since you are, in fact, currently enduring said thing. Not that the addition of a new roommate fell into this depressing bucket, but it did take on the character of something that I didn’t want to do that I knew I could do (just like “unendurable” things).

Am I over-dramatizing? No. The appearance of that question is proof that I’m in a different state now. There’s a resilience in all of us that shades the past in rosier colors. This is probably for the best as I don’t want to perfectly connect with that version of myself.2 While I can’t re-experience those feelings from a year ago, I remember them as the truths that they are.

A significant reason I can’t accurately re-experience that state is because of you two. xxxxxxxxx quickly turned from liability to asset.3 And with this transformation came a turn from fear to gratitude. That gratitude is something I still feel. Like, I’m driving around xxxxxxxxx at year’s end looking for places and thinking about xxxxxxxxx: Wow. I can’t believe how lucky my living situation is. My life did not turn out as expected in part because I never imagined that such a life – living with dear friends at age 35 – was remotely possible. This type of thought routinely appeared throughout the year, a thought of deep appreciation for even a mere five minutes at the end of the day with either of you, talking about everything or nothing at all.

So, thanks. There is zero doubt that 2019 would have been far worse without you two. I also, amazingly, can’t think of any greener grass: the best version of 2019 was the one where I got to live at xxxxxxxxx. This, I contend, is the highest form of living. Seriously. If you can, even for an instant, not want to be somewhere else doing something else, you have IT. I will be forever grateful for the fact that I got to that peak place with you two.

  1. This strikes me as 0% hyperbolic. Humans can’t compete because mortality is too limiting. Most other gods who were around closer to the beginning have been eliminated. Many still flourishing gods/prophets (i.e., Mohammad) were created too late to compete. And Jesus/God would be far too tame.
  2. Just imagine how awful it would be to truly have the power to truly empathize with everyone. Your life would be filled with overwhelming pain.
  3. Vegas priced this outcome at -1700. Between xxxxxxxxx’s vouching, xxxxxxxxx’s congenital coolness, and my love of people, few gamblers were willing to bet on alternate outcomes.