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  NIGHTSPOTS

MARRS ATTACKS! Introduction to "The Guide to Life"
by Homer Marrs
2010-01-20

This article shared 2275 times since Wed Jan 20, 2010
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Hello, and thank you for choosing life. Here are some things you should know before you begin living.

Firstly, you will not remember that you chose to be alive. About fifteen years into your game ( we'll explain why it's a game in Chapter 1 ) , you will in fact utter in solemn protest at least once that you did NOT ask to be born. This is all irrelevant, you will eventually decide, because by and large you just plain have to live, though technically you can stop at any time.

Secondly, you will not be alone, and this will be both wonderful and torturous. You will need other people in general, but you will only need them some of the time. You won't be able to make them go away the rest of the time when you want to be alone with your toys or working on that unfinished novel. Seldom will other people need you at the same time you need them; for the most part you'll take turns, making one of you grateful and one of you polite.

This will become increasingly frustrating as you age, but you will learn to live in spite of the frustration and convince yourself that the two hours a day you enjoy other people's company somehow justify the other 22 you have to endure it ( including when you sleep, because then you will be kept company by the ghosts of people and opportunities lost ) . You may even work that into your novel, which you will never finish.

Thirdly, you won't understand most things. Some things, like the word "thirdly," you will understand just fine but insist sounds stupid and should be as far away from you as possible. Other examples of this will be soap operas and those Farmville applications on Facebook ( we'll get to Facebook in Chapter 31 ) .

The good news is you will decide that you do understand how to live on a basic level, and if you live to be old you will understand this so firmly you will argue that the way you decided to live is the way everyone must live, because you think it worked for you. If you belong to an Evangelical church, this attitude will hit you early on.

Fourthly, none of the big questions will have satisfying answers. Included among these are, "How did we get here?," "Why do I have to spend most of my time at work?" and "How do companies expect the economy to recover if they keep cutting everybody's job?" You will have to rely on belief systems that may or may not be purely fictitious to help you process these, along with the passing of loved ones, the misfortune that befalls you ( as it will, in perpetuity ) and smaller big questions like "Can't we all just not be assholes for a day?"

No, you won't get answers to these, and when you try to discuss them with other people you will be told that you think too much and need to go shopping. These people will then take you shopping and want to talk about their own unanswered questions, such as "Why is everything I want so damn expensive?" and "How come cute boys hate me?"

Fifthly, as you will experience when shopping, you will live in a suspended struggle between what you want and what you can actually have. Sometimes this struggle won't be urgent—you may at one point want an extra finger so you can play guitar faster than Eddie Van Halen—and you'll accept your loss quickly. Other times you will want so intensely to hurt another person that you will take time to wonder how you would convince a judge to let you have your own bathroom in prison.

Good luck with that, and with your novel. Now we move into Chapter 1: "This Is Only a Game; Don't Take It Seriously."

Homer can be reached at homerlaughlinmarrs@gmail.com


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