my brother is having more fun than you are

tonight:

my brother is in austin, texas. he just finished watching the arcade fire at the austin city limits music festival.

my friend pete is probably on the beach in mexico.

my friend sierra is definitely in mexico, in mexico city.

my friend jessie is hanging out with her family in corvallis.

my parents are backpacking in olympic national park.

my friend erica is in greece.

my friend amira is at a cool tea house. really cool. i’ve seen it.

i just finished watching a depressing mtv “documentary” on fat camp. my legs are hurting too much and i am too much of a wuss to walk to the tea house. i am missing a functioning bike and knees. though the more tv i watch and the more i read this book about drugs that i am reading, the more i think it is safer to just stay inside.

one thing about the book: i was reading it when the doctor came in to see me at the health center and before he asked me what was even wrong, we got into this tangential thing about drug abuse and hiv in baltimore. coke, apparently, makes women more likely to prostitute themselves than heroin. interesting.

one thing about staying at home like a sad teenage exchange student in a farmhouse in wisconsin: i was thinking today, “good thing i quit smoking because otherwise i would just be smoking by myself all day long.” but then i realized if i hadn’t quit smoking i probably wouldn’t have had the energy or desire to ride my bike to tiburon so often so i wouldn’t have been hit by a car. so it’s a really good thing i didn’t die because how lame would that be, to quit smoking and then inadvertently DIE from it way WAY before i would have died from lung cancer? though i could still get lung cancer, obviously. and cars kill regardless of how much a person is smoking. but i was always a little worried that i might die young and then in my last moments i would be kicking myself for quiting the cigarettes. i think now though that not smoking is similar to living a good ethical and moral life. in that the only way you can convince me to do either is because they both have immediate benefits. what i mean is: i don’t treat people decently because i want to go to heaven. heaven is irrelevant. i treat people decently because it makes me feel good and it makes other people feel good, and when people feel good then they treat me decently and it usually works out. i don’t steal and murder because stealing and murdering leads to more stealing and murdering and i personally would not like to be stolen from or murdered. maybe that sounds selfish but who isn’t selfish? aren’t people who want to spend eternity in some throne with virgins and angels selfish? and this is similar to not smoking because lung cancer is too far away and seeing as the ice caps are melting, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether i’ll be a good enough swimmer to make it to 50. but as much as i love nicotine, i really love feeling healthy. i love waking up and being able to breath and walk around and ride my bike without worrying about my diminished lung capacity. i also like the freedom of going places and not having to scheme a way to smoke without being seen. these are immediate things. i also like having control over my desire to do something. i like knowing that it is really me that is making decisions like whether i smoke or not. i like not feeling guilty. but lung cancer isn’t the thing. i think the anti-smoking ads should quit it with the lung cancer. half of us are going to get some cancer whether we smoke or not. i couldn’t tell you about that kind of future, just like i couldn’t tell you about the planets in the afterlife or reincarnation. but i can tell you: being reasonable makes the world more reasonable and i don’t feel like shit when i don’t smoke cigarettes.

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