Tonight a friend dropped by to give me a bag o’ treats since I watched her cats last week. As I’m attempting to right the wrongs of Thanksgiving by eating only fresh, clean foods (“Better Living Through Celery Juice!”), I was desperately hoping those treats might be gross.
Treats are never gross, dear Reader. Never.
Thirty minutes later, the deed was done — all six homemade pumpkin donuts, co-mingling awkwardly in my belly with the other assorted sins of the day (spoiler alert: not celery juice). I lay or laid or lie (I’m an English major and never know which) on my back on the living room carpet, staring corpse-like into the middle distance — hating myself, hating life, hating my friend, hating her cats, hating the chemical magic that occurs every time sugar combines with fat in the warmth of an oven. Damn it. SIX DONUTS.
I’ll be 30 in less than three weeks. Is this how I want to spend the last few days of my 20s, frumpy and pot-bellied, unable to muster the basic self-discipline needed to stop at a reasonable, I dunno, THREE donuts, wasting 90% of my time slumped over a glowing screen reading about how I Know I’m a 90s Kid When?! Oh god, please do not get me started on Buzzfeed lists and the time I’ve wasted there.
You know those “Garfield without Garfield” comics someone made a while back? You take Garfield’s thought bubbles away [edit: apparently you take Garfield away completely. Well, this post makes more sense if you pretend Garfield is left in but his thought bubbles are taken out.] and you’re left with the saddest, loneliest man in the world. Jon the Bachelor, Jon the Perpetually Alone, Jon talking to no one at all, blissfully unaware of the tragedy his small life has become (blissful only because unaware!), spending his meager paychecks on novelty lapel flowers that squirt water, replacement drapes, lasagna ingredients, nothing! Bleak nothingness! Cat and dopey-tongued dog staring back uncomprehendingly! Oh, Jon!
I had this thought the other day that the motions of our daily lives are oddly limited and contained and mostly focused around the little glowing screens of our phones, computers, tablets, and TVs (why am I writing so much anti-technology stuff lately? I don’t know. I honestly am not a Luddite in most areas of life. Long live Facebook!). If you don’t count the bigger motions that get us from home to work, from work to the gym, thirty minutes on the elliptical, fifteen on weights, etc., think about the movements we spend most of our days making: the tiny motions of fingers typing, wrist moving mouse, eyeballs following the line of text from one side to the next. How much of our lives do we spend engaged in these small, repetitive movements?
Then, considering this, I started thinking about what our lives would look like if we mapped them out in a comic panel and deleted all of our screens. Our lives are suddenly very empty-seeming: poor schmucks slouching over and staring into and talking and laughing and crying at nothing, only very rarely making a motion larger than a ctrl+alt+delete. We are hardly any less sad than Garfield without Garfield, if we’re being honest with ourselves; a bunch of Jons spending the panels of our lives loving something that will never love us back.
Where did that Garfield-themed tangent come from?! I was just going to talk about how fat I’m becoming but took a wrong turn somewhere back at SIX DONUTS.