“High on Life”
by Jordan Rubio
Hello, my name is Mark Malcovich and I am writing this testimonial as a warning to anyone who is interested in experimenting with the drug “Life”. Now let me just say, I never intended on getting hooked on the stuff. It was just something fun to do with my buddies in college; it was supposed to help me unwind after class. It was simple at first you know, playing Frisbee on the lawn or just taking a bike ride around campus. That was all we needed to get a good buzz going. It started with just us doing it once every few weeks, but then it turned into every few days, then just about everyday of the week. (I developed a serious case of arthritis from playing Frisbee so much and now have to masturbate with the help of a machine.) But eventually, even that wasn’t good enough anymore. “This is boring” we would all say in unison while riding our tandem bike. That is when we started getting into the hard stuff.
We were into everything and anything, you name it: Hiking, Friendly Debates, Morning Jogs, and Chess. We were high so often, I started ditching class just so I could go learn cartography in the back of my buddies van. I was a mess. And I hadn’t even hit rock bottom yet.
Despite my absences I still managed to graduate and marry my then girlfriend Tonya. It was a rash decision we both made since we were madly in love and it was during our impromptu trip to Vegas so, needless to say, that had us smacked for a good while. And when I started living with Tonya, things just started getting worse. We supported each other’s addictions. She would take me to a rare Turkish spa and I would show her a part of the woods where a family of wolves lived. We just stopped caring. We made love so much while we were high that I couldn’t even get it up anymore unless I was bungee jumping.
And things only continued to get worse. I started base-jumping every other day until it got to the point where even Tonya didn’t want to be around me. She decided to quit Life and try to get me to quit with her. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it. She left me and I began to spiral farther. I started spelunking heavily and had to resort to street performance to feed my addiction. That is until one day, I couldn’t afford to even go on a bike ride and I just ended up sitting under a bridge trying to learn French.
I stayed under that bridge for two weeks until social workers found me and cleaned me up. I was able to detox and I have been attending support groups ever since. I have been sober 3 years now and I can’t remember ever being happier. I don’t even think about leaving my room for excitement anymore. And I am happy. But it wasn’t easy getting to this point. And I would change it all if I could go back. So please, heed my warning whoever you are and don’t do it. It isn’t worth it at all trust me. Just do heroin instead.
“Instructional Pamphlet for the Reluctant Homeowner”
by Jessica Wheeler
Until recently, were you under the impression that a Home Depot was a place Midwesterners went to sign up for housing? Are you more interested in painting your nails than your walls? Does the idea of a store full of containers perplex you? Would you rather take midday NyQuil than think about window coverings? Do any of the following phrases sound familiar? “Why do people buy houses?” “What have I gotten myself in to?” “I can’t believe I let my husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/parents tell me this was a good idea.” “I just want a loft and a full time cleaning service.” “I hate tables.”
I thought so. As a new homeowner, you will face a barrage of problems, most of which will be entirely new and utterly terrifying to you. For example, your initial enthusiasm about having a non-coin-operated washer and dryer might be mitigated when you discover that every time you do a load of laundry, gallons of water leak all over your garage. (Beware; the cause of this problem is often a rodent.) After successfully finding a mattress delivery service and throwing out your back operating a mattress protector, you could lie down, look up, and discover that the light fixture in the guest bedroom is hideous and nightmare inducing. Perhaps the clothes closet that seemed “big enough” when you were house hunting is frightening now that it’s filled with fluorescent lights, dust bunnies, and bins of your old sweatshirts. Maybe the “chic” bamboo floors are cold and creaky in the morning and you’ve discovered that all the rugs you like on the Internet are more expensive than one of your brand new mortgage payments. Maybe you feel like a failure because, while you’re wondering if it’s too early for a nap, your mom-friends on Facebook have cleaned their houses and “prepped dinner” before noon and the hipsters have already refinished their antique dressers and planted heirloom tomatoes.
Clearly, you’re in over your head. Don’t despair. Although I am unable to sell your new home for you at a profit and secure you a suite at the Four Seasons while a crew of volunteer firemen steam and pack your sweaters, throw away your mismatched furniture, and fill your car with supplies for a road trip to a land without hoses or cabinet fumes, I can offer you a few tips. First, the preliminary measures: Take a sedative; wash your face; if necessary, find and wear your corrective lenses; put on very loud music so that you can pretend you have really talented company over to help you – company who loves it when you sing along. Facing a home in which you are uninterested is very much like facing your family at Thanksgiving. You need to be comfortable yet functional – calm and a little intoxicated, but alert enough to find solutions to inevitable confounding situations. You may need to change outfits a few times – from pajamas to “real clothes” and back, perhaps. Try sit-ups or pilates in each outfit to make sure you can experience a full range of motion. Once you’ve taken the edge off with pharmaceuticals, can see clearly, and feel fresh-faced and properly outfitted, it’s time for the next step.
Make a list of all the things you would like to accomplish this afternoon. You will probably want to cry, drink, or go back to bed when you read over your list. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and count to ten, and shove the list into the back of a drawer. You don’t need it anyway. Those formidable tasks have seared themselves into the walls of your mind, along with the image of that hideous light fixture. And because you are tired of waking up each morning with puffy eyes, tell yourself that, just for today, crying and going back to bed are not valid options. That leaves drinking.
Take quick look around the room to see if there’s anything you can accomplish before heading to the kitchen. When you start to get angry – inescapable once your eyes rest on the piles of books that would be so easy to put on shelves (if only you had some) and you begin to resent your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/parents for putting you in a situation that requires sacrificing artisan cheese and upgrades to business class for furniture – close your eyes again and count to ten. Imagine a world without HOA fees.
Sigh. Then collect any empty glasses and cereal bowls, deposit them in the sink, and make yourself a cocktail. You’ve earned it.