We Are All Of Us Escape Artists
You wake up to escape the confines of a dream-world where you are inexplicably the only clothed person in a room full of naked acquaintances.
You get out of the shower to escape standing too long in a tightly enclosed area in which you have just masturbated. You masturbate in the shower to escape the burden of excessive sexual thoughts that are triggered by entertaining one seemingly innocuous sexual thought. You entertain a seemingly innocuous sexual thought to escape the inherent depression of being a guy checking his Fantasy Football team. You check your Fantasy Football team to escape perusing vivid, disturbing pictures of lepers on Wikipedia. You type in “Leprosy” on Wikipedia to escape looking blankly at Wikipedia’s homepage. You open Wikipedia’s homepage to escape staring at your work e-mail. You open your work e-mail to escape petting your cat with the weird thing on his back. You pet your cat with the weird thing on his back to escape thinking about all of the work you have to do.
You burp marijuana smoke to escape the tightening pressure in your chest that’s caused by the un-exhaled smoke building in your esophagus. You get marijuana smoke in your esophagus to escape watching late 80s wrestling clips in a sober state of mind. You decide to watch late 80s wrestling clips in the first place to escape sitting around idly, pricking yourself with a sewing needle. You sit around idly, pricking yourself with a sewing needle to escape the unnerving sensation that nothing will ever truly make you happy.
You abruptly end a pleasant conversation to escape the possibility that the other person is about to abruptly end the conversation.
You eat an entire bag of Peanut M&M’s to escape the feeling of being empty.
You’re the guy at the bar sleeping under a stool to escape the reality of the situation. The reality of the situation is the reality of the situation to escape a paradoxical and confounding existence wherein the reality of the situation is not actually the reality of the situation. There may be paradoxical existences in which the reality of the situation is not actually the reality of the situation so that it (the situation) can escape the presumably very dreary chore of being the reality of the situation. But most likely the reality of the situation just mans up and faces the very dreary chore of being the reality of the situation because The New York Times says irony is bad.
You escape free will to escape a prison of your own design.
You spend untold hours writing an excessively long piece about the pervasive, symbolic representation of semen in 90s pop culture (as evidenced by Terminator 2: Judgment Day, TLC’s “Waterfalls” music video, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Capri Sun commercials, and O-Town’s far-too-on-the-nose “Liquid Dreams” video) to escape any kind of serious self-reflection. You avoid serious self-reflection to escape what it surely would reveal about a person deeply interested in the symbolic representation of semen in 90s pop culture.
You listen to your iPod while brushing your teeth to escape the introspective silence that occurs when brushing one’s teeth.
You are drunkenly cursing out Pauly Shore to escape the realization that you embarrassed yourself by passive-aggressively asking him, “So Pauly, what was it like to make Bio-Dome?” You mock Pauly Shore with a stupid, snarky question to escape the pathetic testosterone-fueled anger you’ve cultivated. You cultivate pathetic, testosterone-fueled anger as a rather unimaginative escape from the awkward situation he has created by hitting on the girl you’re with. You’re with a girl you don’t particularly like in the first place, who is being hit on by Pauly Shore all of people, to escape being alone.
You watch a lot of reality TV during college to escape studying. You go to college to escape reality.
We all drink every time Sting cries, “Roxxxxxanne!” to escape the discomfort we feel about drinking without group approval. We seek group approval to drink to escape our anxiety over being sober in a large group. We get together in large groups to escape being alone. We are alone to escape the fact that we are unable to meaningful connect with other people sober.
You are jumping up and down on top of your desk to escape depression over not being chosen for the Line Leader job in Miss Benson’s 1st grade class. You want to be the Line Leader to escape the confusion you feel when you’re not provided with specific, manageable tasks that you can accomplish. You need specific, manageable tasks to escape feeling so bad because you can’t read or do math good and always get in trouble.
Houdini, buried alive without a casket in Santa Ana, California, in the year of 1915, clawed his way out to escape certain death. Houdini died on Halloween 1926.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”