They say the truth shall set you free, but sometimes I wonder. I’m not saying I think this is wrong, just that I PONDER its truth. Uncertainty. What a waste of energy. If this, that the truth will set you free, is wrong, then the fact that the truth will enslave you MUST be the case. Don’t we all feel like this sometimes – that honesty is the WORST policy. Sometimes, being honest doesn’t get you anywhere except the emergency room with a broken jaw, your mouth wired shut, drinking pureed food out of a straw. Me and my big mouth. My mouth ain’t so big now now that it’s wired shut. This is the way it is sometimes. Nobody said it’d be fair. Sometimes the joke is that there ISN’T one, and to find THAT funny, well, that takes some fortitude. Life is full of unfunny jokes, each one with humor that is bleaker than the next. It upsets me that this is the way it is, I mean this is the way it is FOR ME, but the way we feel about stuff IS subjective, and despite our knowledge that the universe doesn’t revolve around us, the fact is that it DOES. Now I don’t pretend to understand the false logic here – hell, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Someone reading this is probably disgusted by this crap, disgusted by the fact that this is how I spend my time now. I don’t blame them – it disgusts me, too. But disgusting stuff is part of life, and it seems that there’s a lot more unpleasant and monotonous stuff out there than cool stuff. This just seems the way it is. Hell, I didn’t make the rules. Hell, I can’t even BREAK the rules. The sun goes down. The sun comes up. Repeat as needed. Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? The doctor will be in in a minute, and, if your vital signs are as good as they were yesterday, you can leave the hospital. And I see no reason why this won’t be the case. You’ve been a good boy. You’ve followed his instructions. You’ve followed all the rules. And you shall be rewarded for your diligence. I’m thinking about promoting you. Yes, you’ll be given more responsibility. Yes, you’ll have to work harder. But you’ll get a significant pay raise, and the perks that come with this promotion, well, let’s just say that there’re a lot of people out there that’d give their eye teeth to be in your shoes. And some day, who knows? You might be made a partner – a managing partner – imagine that? Won’t that make your folks proud? Wouldn’t that make all the sweat worth it? This – success – is, after all, what it’s all about. Winning. Just rewards. The good life. Easy Street. Money in the bank, the best schools for your kids, the right clubs, the right clothes. First class. Nothing’s too good for my boy. Always knows the right thing to say. Always buys the perfect gift. Never forgets his anniversary. Perfect manners. A perfect gentleman. A GREAT dinner guest. A great dancer. Know how to hold his liquor. Never speaks out of turn. Always a kind word. Considerate. Generous. Goes to church every Sunday. Always does the right thing. Very fair. Plays hard, but clean. Takes his punishment like a man. Lives to fight another day. Gets back on the horse. A good neighbor. Always on time for work. — Jon Sarkin