Great to see you, man. Can you believe Kevin is finally getting married? That’s awesome that you’re a groomsman. How have you been, by the way? Wow. Your mindfulness company employs twenty full-time coaches now? Insane. You’ll be a millionaire by forty. So cool.
Me? Nothing new. Still living the dream. Same job as before. Yeah, marketing stuff. And I’m still writing. Well, trying to. Uh, and I grew a mustache and shaved it off. Too much grooming. Look, I’ll level with you—absolutely nothing is going on with me, and I couldn’t be happier.
What else is up with you? Right, your new baby! Holy crap. That’s wonderful. And Sam just turned six? I saw on Instagram that he’s playing Bach fugues on the cello. That kid is precocious. I’m not ready for kids. Just thinking about raising one makes me jumpy.
Back to me? That’s easy because I have literally nothing to report.
I haven’t been on any trips lately. Who has the time? Plus, airports! Ugh.
I don’t have any new hobbies, workouts, or people in my life. Too much effort, and too many names to remember.
I haven’t seen any foreign films or stimulating documentaries. I’ve been rewatching my favorite Jason Statham movies and imagining what it would be like to beat people up.
No, I haven’t published anything. I almost wrote a tweet last month about how I like cheese, but I deleted it because I didn’t want anyone to get mad at me.
Speaking of, how was that food tour of Japan last year? Incredible! No, I literally haven’t been anywhere or put anything new in my mouth or my brain since we talked two years ago, at Steve’s wedding. I’ve just been hanging around the same four city blocks, eating the same chipotle-chicken sandwich at the same Panera Bread, and browsing the same three “news” Web sites that reinforce my opinions. It feels great. I also haven’t forced myself to read any new books, like some annoying postmodern novel that I would feel compelled to rave about on Goodreads to prove that I’m smart.
Wait! I did just reread the first chapter of “Life of Pi.” I never get past that first chapter, and I don’t want to. Numbers and chapters greater than one stress me out.
How’s the rest of the Ballantyne clan? Sheesh. Just hearing all that tuckered me out. But so cool that you and Jenny are building a house in Colorado with reclaimed wood and your bare hands.
And it has a Buddhist-shrine room? Congrats to Sam on his cello YouTube channel hitting two hundred and fifty thousand subscribers. Not bad for a six-year-old. And so awesome that Jenny’s poetry won a Pulitzer Prize. You mentioned some other things, too, but it was too fatiguing to absorb it all. But I’m glad it works for you. We’re all different.
Personally, my life revolves around the half-dozen things that comfort me, and nothing more. I think I’m just wired that way.
Yeah, I saw Kevin and Shelly’s bride-groom tattoos. Matching ramen-noodle cups! Because they both love ramen! Hilarious. Personally, I haven’t gotten any new tattoos. Still just the “Consolatio per Repetitio” on my arm from grad school. It’s Latin for “comfort through repetition.” Too on the nose? Not for me. Pleasantly obvious is my Goldilocks zone.
I could pretend, for conversation’s sake, that I started experimenting with psychedelics, which led me to some galaxy-brain hot take on the possibility of spirituality without religion. But that’s all outside my wheelhouse. When your life is a perfect carnival of contentment, like mine is, there’s nothing to add. I’m a ten out of ten.
By the way, do you ever just lie in bed for hours thinking about how completely satisfied you are and how death is a distant, impersonal abstraction? No, just me?
Seriously, man, being here at this wedding is the most emotionally novel thing I’ve done all year. I might need to leave soon.
But check this out—tomorrow, I’m adopting a puppy, performing at an open mic, and going to an E.D.M. concert with ten of my hilarious comedy friends, who you totally have to meet sometime. Ha. I’m joking! If even five per cent of that were true, my head would explode. Or implode. Whichever is easier.
I think I have to go home now, feed my goldfish, and lie down. Ah, I’m joking again. I don’t have a goldfish. Just a picture of one. My evening plan is to grab some Panera, scroll Twitter till my hand hurts, and then watch “The Transporter,” starring Jason Statham, which, let me tell you, is a hell of a ride. ♦