Like most heterosexual 21-year-old males, I keep a diary. I started recording my emotions and daily observations when I was in the 10th grade, after the death of my cactus Charles. I know this sounds a bit queer, but Charles was my best friend he actually saved my life one time, although that story is much too long and involved to relate here. One morning I went to the shelf to say hello to him and saw that his little cactus head was brown, wrinkly and decomposing the lifeforce visibly surging out of him and I realized that during our entire relationship I had never once given him water. I guess I was too concerned with the emotional gifts he was providing for me to notice that he had needs too. Resuscitation efforts only left my lips swollen. I was devastated, and could only turn to blank paper and my collection of “Hello Kitty” ballpoint pens for release. So that”s how I started writing.
I guess why I”m telling you this is because I”ve been feeling guilty about something lately. In my column I give summaries of significant events in my life, but I never let my readers all the way in. I never allow my rawest emotions to be displayed. So, instead of churning out a silly, meaningless column today, I”m going to reprint a few recent diary entries. I”m doing this because I trust you, and because I want you to know me. So please don”t stomp all over my heart.
2/8/02: Haven”t showered or dressed for third day straight. What”s the point? TV, all day. Terrible vibrations, there must be a meaning to all of this. I forced myself to watch “Another Stakeout,” as punishment for eating entire bag of Oreos. Rosie O”Donnell was so thin then. She also looked remarkably similar to Paula Poundstone, who by the way is still our nation”s finest comedienne, I don”t care what anyone says. The charges brought against Paula were so obviously fabricated, just another example of thought-police gestapo trying to halt relevant social commentary the moment it hits a little too close to home for Mr. Status Quo. See also, Gallagher. Also watched “Family Ties” today. Noticed that Tina Yothers (Jennifer), as she got older, started looking like a “Sid and Nancy”-era Courtney Love. Face blown-out. Puffy. Most certainly on drugs. I”m referring to Yothers, here, not myself, although I do feel bloated. Lactose intolerant, yet craving cheese. Don”t care. Don”t care that I don”t care. Feet cold, but don”t care enough to put on socks. Some might call it “ennui.” I call it “life,” dig?
2/11/02: Something sinister going on, with apocalypse-caliber implications. Today”s pairs figure skating decision was felonious, a perfect representation of the Bourgeoisie oppression of the Proletariat. Usually I like seeing filthy Canucks get robbed. Hell, I usually do it personally, and at gunpoint. But what”s wrong is wrong. I sense that the French are behind this. Does that make me a racist? Plan to do serious soul-searching tonight, between sets of free-weights and Kegels.
2/14/02: A morning is someone else”s night. A summer is someone else”s winter. Your pleasure cannot exist without another”s misery. How can we be happy, under these circumstances? I woke up, the needle was still in my arm. Spring break is just around the corner, and there”s no way I”m going to have my body ready for it. I”ll be the laughingstock of Daytona Beach. Forget it, I”m not going. I”ll have to tell the boys I”m doing Alternative Spring Break or something. I”ll be building houses for the underprivileged. I”ll be delivering meals to the elderly. I”ll be doing anything but staring over my gut at the ever-increasing figure on the cold bathroom scale, weeping. The media perpetuates it. We are saturated with images of ripped Calvin Klein models, godlike athletes, skinny rockstars in their skinny leather rockstar pants. I”m sorry, but the average man can never have David Schwimmer”s body.
2/16/02: Showered today. Didn”t make me feel any less dirty. Watched Jenny Jones, mainly just to punish myself for getting the midnight special from Pizza House again. The theme of the show was “Daaaaaaaaamn girl, you”re way too fat to be dressing sexy!” The general consensus from the panelists was “Hey, if you got it, show it off! Bitch, if you had some (bleep) like this, you”d show it too! And I”ll be (bleeping) your man after the show, too, ho-ass (bleep)!” I don”t get it. Jones has shows like this all the time “You”re too fat to be dressing sexy,” “You”re too old to be dressing sexy,” “You”re missing too many teeth to be dressing sexy” but the guests are never sexy. It”s always a disappointment. And yet, I”m fooled all the time, thinking maybe, this time, the guests who dress sexy will really be all that. Gotta stop watching this garbage. From now on, no more TV, no more bad food, no more pills, no more abuses of the body. From now on there must be Total Organization. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. The real rain is coming.
2/19/02: Roommate brought it to my attention that the bugs crawling all over my arms are not hallucinations. Needless to say, I was mortified. Must keep focused. Have my first blue-book of the semester tomorrow. Why do they call it a blue-book, anyway? I mean, I”m aware that the book is blue, but why make it that color? Is it because they know it will make you sad? Must remember this piece of wisdom for Thursday”s poetry slam. Did I get fatter overnight? Pants feel tight. Black turtleneck also feels tight, along with general tightness of chest. Need to center self. Flush out bad energies. Repeat mantra in the mirror. You”re a bad man. You”re a bad man. You”re a bad man. You”re pretty. You”re so pretty. Snap out of it.
Ben Goldstein just didn”t feel like writing a column this week, and, against his better judgment, took the easy way out. Looking back, it was probably a mistake. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him everything will be okay.