I Wish
by Ron Hogan

I don't want to be me because I don't particularly like who and what I am. I want to be someone else. Maybe Henry Rollins, because he seems like a cool enough guy. I like Henry Rollins.

What's not to like? He's got muscles, tattoos, and brains. The man's a writer, performer, comedian, and social commentary machine with steel in his body and the vicious instincts of an animal. I wish I were like Henry Rollins.

He's done everything that I want to do. He's been everything that I want to be. He's been in bands; actual bands not barroom local bands. He's written books. He's written songs. He's got his own publishing company. He's acted in films, on television, and probably on stage (if you consider a spoken word show an 'acting' event, which I do).

I want to do all that stuff, but I lack the steel. I don't have the fire, the balls, the determination necessary to tell the world to fuck off to chase these delusions. After all, that's hard work.

Instead, I languish away in college. It's not even a great college, it's just the only place that gave me enough money so I could afford to go there and not run my parents into the poor house. The bills I incur are mine, but they pay out of pocket for me. I can't even send myself to college. That would be too much fucking work.

The only thing I really do of my own volition is write, and I don't even consider this a very worthwhile activity for me. I like writing, I like the people who let me write for their websites, and I like reading the writing of the other people who write for those same websites, but sometimes it just feels like masturbation. And like masturbation, even though website writing doesn't propel me any further towards any of those goals, I still do it.

Several times a day, actually. Masturbation fills my days with fun activities, and it keeps my dirty socks sparkling white. Plus it keeps me unmotivated and weary.

I don't mind not being motivated. I don't mind being tired all the time. I like my pills; the drugs I am addicted to are socially acceptable and paid for by my prescription plan, which is good. $5 co pay and I get a month's supply of happiness in a white bottle. Happiness is pink. Happiness causes sexual side effects, dry-mouth, nausea, cramps, and constipation in some users.

Thankfully all I've gotten of that is the dry mouth, though if lack of sex is a sexual side effect and wrist cramps from masturbating count as the side-effects of my pharmaceutical euphoria, then I guess I haven't been totally safe. Though is anyone really safe anymore?

Think about it. Terrorists kidnapped a plane full of people and crashed it into one of the tallest buildings in the free world. Every day someone's getting shot somewhere. And if you take away our guns, the amount of stabbings will increase, because humans love to kill each other. Sometimes I wish I didn't fear prison, so I could kill someone too. I don't like being left out.

But I fear prison. There are large black men in prison who will rape me several times a day, because I am soft and white and weak. It doesn't matter what I do, or how I do it, I am rape fodder everywhere and to everyone. My asshole should be exit-only; everyone keeps using it as an on-ramp to my soul.

I hate myself. I consider my body a useless, malfunctioning device that only seems to cause me problems instead of alleviate them. My penis is useless; it hangs like an ugly pink tube from beneath its easement of curly brown hair. Sometimes it stiffens up, and I must caress it with my palm in order to make it splatter its lifeblood all over a tissue.

Moments of pleasure are rare. Even the act of 'pleasuring myself' seems mechanical, as if a machine could beat me off and I wouldn't notice. I know some people who would prefer a machine to pleasure them sexually. I'm sure we'll get sex robots eventually, because God knows prostitution isn't honest work, and being a lawyer is.

Everyone around me seems to have two different views on love. Some don't believe in it; others see love as someone willing to let them get off inside warm, moist orifices in their body. Whatever works, I suppose.

I don't want to believe in love. I want to say love is bullshit, and that there is no love, only misplaced physical attraction that manifests itself as some sort of chemical in the brain that facilitates the pair-bonding instinct, butů I do believe in love. Not the love they believe in, but I consider it love nonetheless.

Love is not the orgasm. Love is not tongue wrestling on a grimy couch or canoodling in some fetid dorm-room bunk bed. Love is something in the mind or the soul. I'm not quite sure what Love is, but I know that if I didn't believe in Love, then I'd have no reason to continue breathing.

Maybe I don't have a reason to continue breathing. Maybe I shouldn't have drank so much vodka before I took my pills so I wouldn't have thrown them up and saved my own life. Maybe I should've just gone upstairs, gotten my father's gun out of the nightstand, and given it a life-ending blowjob. For whatever reason, weakness I guess, I didn't.

Now I've got pills that love me. My pills understand more than some sperm depository ever could. Love must be a prescription with infinite refills.

Those pills don't make me whole, but they fill up the void inside me quite nicely. They make me forget the screaming agony that is every single monotonous day of my existence.

Pills make living bearable, even for those of us who want to believe in Love; yet can never find the evidence we need to prove It exists.

Pills give me Faith; Faith in Love; Faith in my fellow homo sapiens. "All you need is Love," the Beatles once said, but George Michael said it best when he said, "Ya gotta have Faith."

When your Faith runs out, you can always make some calls to the right people, explain your position, and get yourself a refill. God is a Pharmacist; the pills are his Holy Scriptures. When your soul hurts, then it must be time to choke back another pink dose of Happiness.

My soul hurts.

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