Lazy Fuck

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Our Vietnamese cleaning lady comes in the morning and I had to get up so she could clean the bedroom. Once I’m up, nothing to do but sit on the sofa like a colonist, wearing my elephant pajama pants, nodding appreciatively while she works. Gotta do that — it would feel too cunty and detached to be on Facebook or eat some cereal.

So, I got only seven hours of sleep last night, and it feels like a crisis. I almost passed out on the motorbike this afternoon. I’m used to nine hours of sleep minimum. Bad habit. Arose from my goal to not work at all, whatsoever, when I arrived here in Vietnam for my long-overdue vacation. Or maybe what this is is my retirement trial run. Or my escape from the West and its capitalistic rhythms. Whatever it is, it’s already been two months. Two months that I’ve blown.

I thought I’d come up with a business idea or some shit. My golden ticket. But you need passion for that, for the twenty-hour days of bootstrapping, and I simply cannot focus on anything except writing*, and being the best there ever was at writing, and this is a bad thing, someone needs to stage an intervention. I can’t stop wasting my time on this, letting my girlfriend go to bed alone with all her worries while I stay up on the laptop and get ball cancer and let the blue light melt my eyeballs. This is killing me. What did I do in my past life to deserve such a counter-intuitive, counter-productive addiction in this one. What karmic debt am I paying off. I was probably a colonist.

So — I have to kill off these anxieties. Which means I have to start paying for therapy. Which means: back to work. Which is good. I can’t be trusted with freedom. I’m not a conqueror. I don’t wake up naturally at 3:45 a.m. like Jeff Fucking Bezos, high off the concept of outmaneuvering and torpedoing Netflix just because. No, what I do is sleep until 11:45 and then loathe myself for it. Spend the afternoon in the choke of anxiety, trying to catch the day as it rolls down the hill. I was born to be a slave. Without work, nothing short of a gunshot gets me out of bed.

Time to go back to work. I am not ready yet, but I still need to go. All right. Back to Linkedin. And all the other careerist sites that I forgot my passwords for. I will make money. At least AI hasn’t gotten here yet, I can still sell my English. Tutor for $25 an hour or go to an office. Where my destiny lies. Because while I’m tall, I quit basketball. No NBA. I’m hot but juuuuust shy of model hot and I have beer fat; no photoshoots. So, back to the cubicle or some other place of equivalent subservience. Which is an inevitability unless you’re Prince Harry, or these twats.

I already have the globetrotting life that they make inspirational think about what you’re going to regret on your deathbed! videos about, and it’s not that great – it’s painfully finite. And think about it, no one’s going to pay you to hike those fucking glaciers, dickhead. Money doesn’t just materialize because you decided to go see the world. You can leave. But you always have to go back. Just remember that everyone making videos telling you quit your day job is making money off those videos. Don’t fall for it. Hm. I should make a de-motivational video about this. Maybe that could be my thing. I certainly have the pessimism for it.

***

*And you, bebe d’amour (WINK)

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Fragile

I’m in the Hanoi Starbucks, where I’m supposed to be Googling expat therapy services. One of my girlfriend’s conditions for taking me back. She’s right, I do need therapy. I’m a tall handsome funny man who gets invited to shit all the time, yet I’m still convinced that everyone despises me and wants me to die. Failed writer, so of course I need therapy. The wholesale rejection of your best output is impossible to internalize. Why did I ever try to do this, I keep asking myself. Why does it feel like I’m cursed to have to keep trying. I need an intervention to make me stop blogging.

Being a failed artist is like getting dumped every day. Who can blame Hitler for blowing a gasket after the art school thing.

I do need therapy, which means spending money to pay someone to listen to me. I’m furious that that has to be the case. I am the most hilarious and interesting man who ever lived; I should not have to pay for someone’s attention. Fuck it – I don’t need therapy. My problems are complex Gordian knots yet they have a simple solution: everyone in the world just needs to read all my shit, and never stop, and then I’ll be happy until I die. None of this posthumous fame shit, I want it right goddamn now. Any therapy session will be me just restating those last two sentences over and over for an hour. Every thought or insight you’ve ever had, I’ve stated it in clean, perfect simplicity. The right words in the right places. But it’s not enough to be perfect. Too much crap out there, impossible to rise above it all. You need luck too. And I already received my entire cosmic allotment of luck at birth, when I was born to white American parents. Already got my boost. I’ll spend the next 50 years trying to process that.

Anyway: if you don’t read me, drive off a bridge.

And Then What Happened

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Now for some peace to follow the trauma. The girl is back, and we’re at the resort pool. I’m trying to blast a tan into my lily-white, KKK hood-colored visage. It won’t work. I’ll just get skin cancer instead. The pool deck is overrun with young Brits. Without exception, they all have matted hair and at least one too many tattoos. They look like they share needles. Young Brits are the opposite of their tea-and-monocle accents. Everyone here has a book that they’re barely reading. Because books are only props now. I’m the only one who’s made it past the first ten pages of mine. I should write pool books, with only the first ten pages filled in, because that’s all they’re gonna read anyway.

Later on I go to the gym and then get a haircut that makes it look like I’m trying too hard to look 23 again. I putter over to the tourist haven at Hoan Kiem Lake to buy some fake Ray-Bans before deciding to have a massive beer on a balcony, so that I can keep cooling my already-cool heels. I’ve had almost two months off from work and it’s still not enough. It might as well have been just one single day off; I’d feel no different. When I do go back, it will be same sensation as choking or drowning.

The beer slowly pollutes my bloodstream. Most of the tourists milling around here are European families or middle-aged couples using this vacation to try to work it out. Koreans with their fucking polo collars popped stride by quickly, appalled at the one-legged beggars, the chaos, the dirt, the reality that’s here. Rich Vietnamese are out too. The ones who, like me, don’t have to work. They have fat, haughty children in tow. I see womens’ thumbs scrolling, scrolling, scrolling down through the News Feed. That feature came out a decade ago but at this rate, they’re going to make it all the way back to the beginning.

Time to drive back to Skype a friend. Evening traffic is a grinding, oppressive experience.

***

What to say on Skype. What to talk about. I’m in the ether, I feel relatively at peace these days. And it’s killed my ambition. You can’t fucking win, can you.

Dear Cindy

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I.

Don’t worry about anything else, all you need to do is stay. I wrote so much about what I did to you, how I was a bastard and a sex addict but the bottom line is: stay with me now. I’ve met every girl in the world. If I haven’t met her, I’ve met one just like her, and they’re all garbage. They can all die. They wish they were like you.

So now that I have you back with me, just stay. Forget that I hurt you and then tried to leave you again to go get drunk with chubby sluts. I was stupid, made no sense. I’m not leaving and neither are you. Because I’ve looked everywhere, and I found my girl.

II.

I was up in the mountains when you found my journal. My list of war crimes. Where I detailed fucking other girls and then lying to you about it. You were walking around in the halls of my head. You cried all day, didn’t eat anything. I was seven hours away. Couldn’t stop it. Just sat dumbly on my motorbike and rumbled up the cliff roads. If I had any decency I’d have driven over the edge.

But you know that I had none. You read what was between me and God. My brutal, indefensible honesty. My goddamn journal. Data breach, complete self-incrimination. If I hadn’t been a writer then this would have stayed dead.

Or would it have. All those vapid whores, those girls who I hated but pinned down anyway – the scandal was too big. No way was I going to get away with it. I had flashbacks from Sunday School when they told me to be sure your sins will find you out. God is always right at the worst of times.

I deserved this shock but you didn’t. Baby, I’m sorry.

III.

When we met last spring I immediately wanted to keep you. You left though. But then came back. Moved to another continent, just for me, and somehow I still had the capacity to be insecure about it. To think: she probably doesn’t even like me all that much, I better go get some more girls on the side so she can’t hurt me.

I have more excuses but they don’t hold up. The real reason was: I wanted to have it all. You, and also some others. Creep to her bed while hitting you with lies on text to keep you waiting for me in yours. I was trying to be cool. But trying to be cool will make you sick.

I shut it all down and then it was just you and me. You dancing in the shower. Making fun of me and rapping in your accent. Your butterscotch skin. What it should have been all along.

IV.

The only thing that saved us was that I never officially cheated. I wasn’t Tiger Woods. My schemes were all over before we started up. It was all finished, done – that whole evil past where we were with other people. Other people: that concept feels backwards and wrong now. There’s no one else anymore. Just us.

Last time you left it was a crisis. I had to get spiritual and ask the universe to bring you back. I had to do it this time too. And now you’re here. You forgave me. You told me that you know the past is dead. Thank you for that, for keeping us alive. Thank you forever. I was one conversation away from becoming a lost alcoholic writer. Maybe I’d have written a good page but at what cost. The world has enough miserable people already. I don’t want us to join them.

So now you just have to stay. Don’t worry that I’m not safe or stable. Don’t wander off to some bland dolt with a desk job. Have pale kids and scheduled missionary sex with him. You can’t go because you’re mine. He’ll know it, see me in your eyes, panic in secret about it. In order to not hurt him, you have to stay with me. I was trying to be cool before, but what’s cool is this. So you just have to let me keep loving you. And pray you don’t get sick of me, because I’m your man again and you’re stuck with me. But goddamnit you better stop asking me to change the duvet cover because I hate doing that shit.

Clear

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I’m still alive. Just not writing because, goddamn, I truly haven’t had a fucking second. The problem with living in Vietnam is that everyone wants to visit you. See the bays and the Kung Fu Panda landscapes. The problem with not having a job is you have no excuse not to spend all day with them. No time to work out, write, hide away and scratch the balls. Too many beers and too much time in cafés. Life is imbalanced, too much hanging out by the pool. The problem with being me is that, despite my inner turmoil and insecurities, I somehow maintain a basic aura of awkward, endearing charm, and people want to hang out with me, keep inviting me to shit. Being popular is bad. No time or space. If you truly want to be a writer, you’ll make time! How about you blow that out your ass. You don’t need to write every day. We didn’t ask Michael Jackson for a new album every day. Yes, I’m saying I’m as talented as MJ – actually I’m better, because I fuck far fewer children.

***

I’ll write more, very soon. I need to. My girlfriend is now my ex. She used to always ask me to write about her. I told her to wait, that whatever I wrote had to be real and perfect. I can’t be fake with this shit. Well, now I have something real. Too fucking real.

I know you’re reading this. And it’s coming soon, baby. Maybe it’ll get you back, though it probably won’t. But still, it will be just for you.

Sweet Sweet Hypocrisy

Been in Asia too long. Now my grandmother is 80 and my nephew is two. My sister gave him away but still posts photo montages like she’s his mother. She only birthed him for the likes. I’d call her deplorable for that but then again I know I’d get excited over the Facebook likes if I got my girl pregnant. Wait no — actually, there wouldn’t be any. She said if she got pregnant that she wouldn’t tell me, and would instead run for an abortion in the night. I’d call her deplorable for that but then again I truly, truly love not having children.

I would visit home soon but I’d make everyone angry. All the drones who wish they’d escaped. Who invest invaluable life energy in Jon Fucking Snow and Beyonce lyrics. Get off Beyonce’s dick. I hate fans, I hate followers, unless they’re mine. You don’t need an idol; be your own idol. Go make something. Actually, don’t. Too many people are out there making shit. Stresses me the fuck out. Every expat here is writing a book. Stop writing your book. I know based on nothing but the look in your eyes that it is shit. You wear a tank top and have a dumb soul. Your brain was molded by Hey Arnold and Rugrats. You didn’t grow up next to a library like I did, writing is not your destiny.

***

Today I met some Israelis, met a girl I forgot I’d already met before, met a pilot, met a comedian who wasn’t funny. Then I was at a Buddhist temple. A man was burning money. I was languid in the heat. Creeping, taking the day in low gear so I could figure some shit out. Until I reached enlightenment. And I did. I decided I’m going to start making movies again. Because I like making them, they’re the only god damn way to get noticed. It’s gonna have to work, because I refuse to accept not being famous. If it doesn’t work then I’ll just start a cult. Worked for Buddha, and also Beyonce.

Check In

Fuck a blog, man. Had to ease up. I was writing too much. These posts take me about 6 hours apiece. At least all the hard work is paying off; I just got my monthly $0.47 from Amazon.com. But that’s cool because $0.47 in Vietnam can keep you in booze for a week. I can thrive off scraps, motherfuckers.

I’m the greatest writer of all time but I’ve run out of shit to write about. So now I’m trying to just let some shit happen to me. Only reason to do anything. I’ve been drinking with club whores. I found out the cops don’t pull over white people here so I’ve been blowing through reds like Jason Bourne and oh what a fucking feeling that is. I never need to have sex again. Gonna have to leave the city and explore some more soon. I bought a video camera and carry it around like a jackass. WordPress didn’t make me famous, but YouTube will definitely do the trick, right?

All right that’s it for today, champs. Be back soon.