Reasons to Live

weird hairdoOne afternoon I fell asleep on the couch, and when I woke up I was using a Doritos bag for a pillow. I kept it there because I always like a snack when I wake up. You probably do, too, so I’m sure you’ll understand. But all the chips were crushed. I had to look under the sofa cushions for a spoon to eat them.

So I sat there, like I said, having a snack and wondering why I didn’t feel rested. I had slept for two hours. Or three. Or longer. In my contemplation of life, I’ve found that many people are much too obsessed with time and with who’s “at work” and with who’s “lazy”.

But I didn’t feel rested. I still felt tired, a bit of drowsiness, a touch of ennui. I realized it wasn’t because I had a Doritos bag for a pillow. And it wasn’t because I had slept badly from forgetting to put pants on that morning and I was a little chilly.

No, people, I didn’t sleep well because I was worried. I was worried about Justin Bieber. The poor little guy is trying so hard to enrich our lives with stories of madness, derangement, and inexplicable tattoo behavior. And people just pick on him for it. I felt upset thinking about it, and I went to the kitchen for another bag of Doritos, but the dog had already found them.

I was standing there in the kitchen thinking about whether to go to the store, which would mean trying to find a pair of pants, when my friend Cecil called.

“Did you hear the big news?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “I was wondering if I should wear pants.”

“Yeah,” Cecil said. “I’m gonna say yes to that one.”

“And I was worried about Justin.”

“That poor guy,” Cecil said. “Why don’t people leave him alone? Who else would be willing to go to jail for the sake of entertaining his fans?”

“I know,” I said. “He’s so selfless. I go to jail because of stuff I did.”

“Like most of us,” Cecil said. “So let me tell you the big news.”

I had a shiver of excitement, a frisson de joie, at the idea of big news. I sat down at the kitchen table, but I realized too late the dog had been licking the chair. “What’s the news?” I asked.

“Lady Gaga isn’t pregnant.”

“Oh, I’m so disappointed!” I said. Then I paused. “But I didn’t know she might get pregnant.”

“Every pop star might get pregnant,” Cecil said. “Except the males.”

“Maybe some of them, too,” I said. “I was just reading something.”

“Anyway,” Cecil said, “can you give me a ride to the meeting tonight?”

“Yeah,” I said, “but I had to take the dog to the vet yesterday, so the car is kind of—”

“We can roll the windows down.”

About that meeting we were going to, a year ago, just after the incident with a lawyer and a snowblower, Cecil invited me to join Fans or Die. The purpose of the club is to make sure we don’t miss any important details of the lives of people who are so essential to what happens in our own lives. Like Kim Kardashian.

I’m sure you’re wondering now how you can join Fans or Die. I’m sure you’re thinking “What if I miss hearing about a vacation that Katy Perry went on, and a new bikini she revealed?”

I know. I know. Except all my emotional energy is going into Justin. There’s only so much I can do. I just hope you can find a group like Fans or Die near you. Google “reasons to live”.

We have ten people in our club. With a waiting list. The topic of the meeting that night was “What has Jennifer Aniston been wearing lately?” Cecil always brings his laptop and we know which sites to go to for the latest information. A couple of people are old fashioned and bring magazines. Yeah, really. Magazines. I gave those up myself after certain kinds of websites that I needed in the evenings started to appear.

“Oh, my God, look at that sweater!” Keena said when we saw the first picture. “That is so tacky. I feel sorry for her family.”

“I like it,” I said. “I saw Rihanna wearing one like it.”

“You did not!” Keena said. “They would never wear the same sweater! Anyway, it would look good on Rihanna, but not on Jennifer.”

Cecil scrolled down the page, and there was Jennifer in a gown she wore to a party that the Duchess of Cambridge had been at. “That is not her color,” said Rory. “Fuscia! No, no, no.”

“Oh, I think it is,” said Bette. “But her hair is wrong. That is such a fashion tragedy, we really ought to write her.”

“That’s a great idea,” said Keena. “Has anybody here ever written a letter?”

We got silent for a minute and looked at each other. Cecil was tapping his way down the screen. “Email is really better,” Rory said. “We don’t want her to think we don’t own a computer.”

“Sure, email,” Keena said. “How should we start it? Dear Jennifer, we love you so much, especially in that movie We’re the Millers, but about your hair…”

Maybe Keena was waiting for somebody else to add a line to the email. Or maybe her tongue just got itchy and she stopped to scratch it on her teeth. While she wasn’t talking, Rory said, “That sounds like a lot already. We don’t want to sound too wordy. Maybe we should send a text instead.”

“I like that idea,” I said, “I have my phone here.” I started looking in my pockets, wondering where my phone was.

“If we don’t want to sound too wordy,” Cecil said, “shouldn’t we just do a Twitter message?”

We started thinking of tweets to use, but all of those seemed too wordy. In the end, we just went with “Oh, Jen, your hair,” and we posted it on Cecil’s Twitter account.

Now I’m kind of worried about our tweet to Jen. It’s keeping me from sleeping. Instead of “Oh, Jen” should we have said, “Hey, Jen”? And should we have been more specific about her hair? Maybe used an adjective? My tossing and turning was bothering the dog, so he made a rude noise and went to another room. Dogs don’t appreciate the important things that give life meaning, the way us humans do.


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