He wakes up. He staggers around naked his erection uncomfortable and pointing at all the furniture. He puts on his robe and goes to make some coffee. His eyes hurt a lot. He stumbles into the shower and turns on the taps and adjusts the hot and it is too hot and adjusts the cold and it is too cold and then tries the hot again and it becomes too hot and then cold hot cold hot cold he curses under his breath clenching his fists and hissing air through his mouth quietly so as not to wake up anyone else in the house but he is so fucking angry he can barely think and he wants to smash all the glass in the room and tear out his eyes and lungs but then he calms down because the temperature of the water is suitable and he washes his hair and he feels a lot better. He drinks coffee and he eats a blueberry pancake that he put in the toaster for too long so it now tastes like a blueberry beer mat but it’s not the worst thing he has ever tasted or ever cooked if calling putting something in a toaster and burning it is called cooking which by definition probably is. He writes some of his novel that he is basing on the work of Dante and feels proud of the one sentence that it takes him an hour to write but he spends most of his time looking at the book cover that he has made for his unfinished book. It is a fine minimalist cover. It will sell lots of copies on the internet and in fine independent bookstores and he will be famous now he just needs to write the book but first he toasts himself a bagel which is more successful than that blueberry waffle. He finishes reading The Philosophy of Mathematics. He did not understand a word but he did enjoy it. He realises that he understands nothing about the foundation of the framework of reality. How can he live his life like that he wonders yet somehow he manages and makes it through day after day after day each one like the last as he continues on his journey to where we all go in the end. He watches open mouthed as Rick Santorum manages to put the word rape and the word gift in the same sentence. He was only half listening so was he talking about the gift of rape or a rape-gift or that the gift of life can come from rape? He isn’t sure but it seems that he really really really doesn’t like abortion and given that he uses magical thinking to define when life begins and he has clear views of what life means and what conception means and what abortion means and what and when human life becomes so he is clearly in a position where he feels that it is okay to abuse a woman sexually. He thinks that he may be twisting Rick Santorum’s words but he feels that he doesn’t like the glassy eyed zealot and therefore given that he seems to want to create an American Theocracy it probably doesn’t matter what he himself thinks about Rick Santorum. There are lots of donuts in the kitchen at work the new boss who he forgets the name of has bought them all for everyone is piles high like a pile of mayan sacrifices or a heap of bones or a pile of donuts and he eats many and drinks coffee and thinks that it is Valentines day and he wonders if the girl who he loves received the card that he sent and the flowers that he sent but he is too cowardly to call her because of how it was left before and maybe the letter is on fire in her cooking pot like last time and the flowers are flushed down the toilet not like last time because it is the first time he has ever bought her flowers. He thinks for a moment that this might have been the problem but he really knows that this was definitely not the problem. So he hopes that everyone is unhappy and bitter just like him except for her she hopes that she is happy and fine but wishes that she was happier and finer with him. Then he thinks about the sham of the day and thinks of the things that were spent and how they are spent and the candy and the flowers and the meals and the bears oh so many bears and the fake twitters sent from accounts from Obama and his wife by interns who created accounts although maybe they were real tweets either way it is embarrassing and undignified. The modern world strips dignity from all of us maybe we didn’t have dignity in the first place because it’s just another holiday to buy things like Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day each day a sale to buy we must buy and purchase and spend and consume for we have to consume to keep the engine going because we are consumers and we are 80% of the engine so we have to even if we don’t want to because we power the world as it is as it has been created not by one person or many but everyone and from the small acorns great oaks do grow and from small equations beautifully complex mandelbrots are created so too the economy is all interlinked and utterly complicated and reliant on everyone else but mainly it relies on Americans buying things so you have to buy things I have to be things we have to buy things or it all breaks and collapses and the terror of the responsibility to consume and gorge and gag on every swollen object that we buy and break and discard and buy and break and discard is more for one man one woman one group one people one race to hold on to we are all mad. Madness is our normality because everything is normal to someone. Then he starts reading Portnoy’s Complaint and it is full of masturbation which is apt because he likes masturbation well not likes it but does it too much and still stinks in the guilt and revels in the joy of pumping himself to lonely creamed breach squatting in solitude as he wraps himself in guilt and fear and shame and then does it again and he wonders about the families of the people he watches and knows that they were all children once with mothers and fathers and what happened how did they make it here and then realises that probably nothing and that they are all normal and we are creatures of lust and passion and posting ourselves in our paradise garb and plunging and licking and sucking and teasing and biting is all normal it’s all normal and fine yet why does he feel so ashamed and guilty and tired and afraid. He does not know but it does not stop him because he is a slave to his lusts and his passions and his thoughts and his body is not his own it belongs to his drives and urges and he is merely a bystander. He has another cookie and some ginger ale and that makes it all better. He wishes himself a Happy Valentine’s day and then masturbates himself, gently, to sleep.