Fried Chicken Empire

I’m in the dumps. It started during my final days in Rio around the time of my five year blog anniversary. My Danish roommate already left for São Paulo and I was going through some drama with a girl. My subsequent travels through the state of Minas Gerais were pleasant, especially the weekend in Belo Horizonte, but I started losing motivation to do things.

I went to Córdoba, planning to stay for at least two months, but it became apparent that I wasn’t going to last. I made an honest effort on the girls for one whole week but then gave up completely, realizing that I really didn’t like them. I didn’t care for the challenge. Eventually I dated a Brazilian girl who I met through my young landlord. She tried to drag me to clubs but I resisted, saying I rather do quieter things.

My apartment didn’t have internet so I sat and watched VH1 Classic and Style & Life for over three hours a day. I followed a four-year-old season of Project Runway and also saw a gay guy beat out all the girls on Paris Hilton’s show. I didn’t want to study Spanish, didn’t want to write, didn’t want to travel, didn’t want to hit on girls, and I didn’t want to read. I forced myself to take Spanish lessons just keep myself busy, so I could say I was doing something productive.

I came back to America and it’s been fine so far. It’s great catching up with Virgle Kent, Roissy, and The Rookie, and especially fun to watch The Rookie in action. He reminds me of my younger self when I approached not just to get laid but to experiment or have a laugh. Now I just approach to get laid. It’s a job, putting in my time to get that notch.

My two books sell on their own. I’ve already put in the grunt work for a setup that is mostly passive. I’m not rolling in money, but I do make enough to live comfortably in developing countries. If I stopped being so fucking lazy I could make more, but with a good amount of cash saved up (enough for my future travel plans that I’m thinking of this winter), I can’t get excited enough to work more than I am now.

With the blog I’ve been doing the bare minimum, three posts a week. You’d be annoyed if I did less. This isn’t because I don’t have ideas, but I’m simply too lazy to develop them. I have a file with ideas so old that I don’t remember what angle I was going to take. So I delete them, a potential nugget of knowledge lost forever because I didn’t want to work for a few minutes.

I think I’m feeling down because I’ve reached my loftiest goals. I’ve shared all that I’ve wanted to share. I’ve banged the girls I’ve wanted to bang. I’ve experienced what I’ve wanted to experience. And I have enough money in my pocket that I don’t need to steal other people’s drinks anymore, no trivial accomplishment if you’ve been there. It’s true I could dig deeper, but I’ve hit the point of diminishing return in most things I’ve set out to do. You pass the peak of something and it becomes a grind, so it’s easier to repeat the process with something new. But what new worthy goal should I set out to do? Try to write for a magazine? Get a book “professionally” published? Accumulate lots of money? Aim for fame? I wish I cared more about those things.

Lately I’m having some morbid thoughts. I do a lot of healthy things so that I can live a nice long life, but now I’m questioning that. People are running marathons twice a year so they can live until 85 instead of 70. But what are you going to do after 70? Go to Europe a couple times a year? Watch more television? Unless you’re lucky like Hugh Hefner, who’s looking pretty frail these days, old age is no joy ride, regardless of how healthy you can keep yourself. Would you trade shoes with your grandparents? Because that’s what you have to look forward to. I never believed it made much sense to plan to work your ass off now in order to make it to an age period where the grim reaper is on your doorstep, but I understand we need a lot of people to think that so society can function.

I think many people refuse to accept death. A deep fear of it then manifests itself in obsessions and compulsions with exercise and food (only grass fed and organic!), and sometimes environmental concerns (no plastic bags!). At least it keeps them busy. The reason I work out and eat right is now for mostly aesthetic reasons. I’d eat pizza and McGriddle sandwiches every day if it didn’t make me feel lousy and increase my body fat percentage. Why not otherwise? To preserve a couple years when the highlight of my day is waking up and realizing I’m not dead yet like many of my friends and relatives? I’ve read stories of the 80-year-old man lifting a piano over his head and another a few years younger building a fried chicken empire from scratch, but I’m realistic to know that those things probably won’t happen to me. And say I have children. Are they going to want to deal with an old man who can barely hear and do very little besides sit in a recliner and stare blankly off into space, reminiscing about the glory days where all his sexual perversions were satisfied? This isn’t Colombia where my kid is obligated to take care of me until I die but America where I’d be lucky if my nursing home is within 100 miles of my spawn.

I understand that while life is long, there is a window for the best years, starting in your early 20’s and ending somewhere in your late 40’s. I know I only have 30 good years at the most, and I have already used up a third of that. But right now I’m wasting my days, and I’m not sure how to get out of it.

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