Thursday, August 29, 2013

SULKING: Yr Doing It Wrong

If fall is the time for brooding, summer is the time for sulking. Summer does not feel like summer anymore and everybody is bummed out. Aside from the sadness that accompanies summer's end, it is easy to be bummed in the summer, I'm guessing because everybody is drinking too much and not really paying attention to anything real and is suspended in a frivolous fantasy world that will suddenly disappear for nine months? Yeah yeah yeah, I guess I had fun, but full disclosure: for me, this summer sucked. I will not go into detail as to why- romantic disappointments, mainly- but I will say this: I have mastered the art of the sulk. I have sulked all over town and now you can, too! Quick, before time runs out: have yourself a sulk before you wrap yourself up in fabric to brood when it's cold again. Here is how ya do:

like this girl, only it's summer and there are no dogs and she's miserable
Sit in a public place. It helps if you are wearing mostly black. If you run out of your giant iced coffee, go get another giant iced coffee. It is very important that the coffee is iced because it will allow you to consume the coffee at an alarming rate. The goal is to feel as crazy as possible while pouting like you've never pouted before. Sometimes resorting to the most college-like behavior feels super-good when you are feeling bad. You may even want to bring a slim, depressing volume of poetry with you.

When everybody around you starts to think you are a psycho, you have done your job. There are only so many iced coffees and cigarettes one can consume in whatever window of time you have allotted yourself for this ultimately unproductive activity. You must now suck it up and go do whatever it is you need to do next in your day. If you are like me, when you are walking or taking the train you like to listen to music. You need mood music. so:

Some choice bummer jams of this summer have been Pharmakon's Abandon, deafheaven's Sunbather, and Boards of Canada's Tomorrow's Harvest. Listening to Pharmakon on your morning commute is an experience, people. Yes, perhaps I am setting myself up to be in a bad mood all day, but I firmly believe that if one is to get the sulk out of one's system, one must commit to the sulk completely. Once it takes hold of you and gives you a squeeze it will slowly let go of you again. Let yourself be squeezed. Let yourself be consumed by the terrifying, visceral musical stylings of Margaret Chardiet:

PERFECT. Sulking music should always be furiously slow-burning and sexy, NOT self-pitying. That is not my kind of sulk. Basically, don't listen to any namby-pamby bullshit like this:


Because summer is the time for FUN, right!? Whatever. Nothing says "I don't give a fuck" like dropping too much money at (if you are me) Beacon's Closet. I like tearing through racks of clothes and pulling out shit I would never ordinarily wear and then taking an armload of garments into the dressing room. The unfazed, nihilistic shopping addict is a role I like to play sometimes. It feels good to immerse oneself in the melodrama of overspending. Yes, it's true: when the sulk is over you are like "oh fuck I have to pay rent," but then you are like "oh well lesson learned but it was worth it because LOOK AT MY SHIT."

So, you know, pick your poison, but for me it's vintage clothes. After purchasing said clothes, I like to put 'em on and "go out on the town". It ain't a sulk without booze. See next:

(tom cruise in cocktail: wayyyyy too happy)
To me, there is always something very somber-seeming about complex, difficult-to-make cocktails. I'm not talking about trash-ass cocktails, I'm talking about finely crafted works of art, here. The Narrows makes a concoction called Caulfield's Dream that is my sulking cocktail of choice. Delicious moodiness in a shallow, elegant glass. And, as a plus, it is named after the patron saint of sulking, Holden Caulfield. Perfecto!

Again, money I do not have on shit I do not need. Just don't get TOO toasted- that usually ends in crying spells or fits of rage or (god forbid) barf. You do not need that. If you play your cards right, sulking can be a very sophisticated form of suffering. You need to keep it chill.


The sulk gets old eventually, and you want it to go away. In your life, you are doing everything right: you are showing up to work on time, the bills are paid, nobody is angry at you and you've been eating lots of healthy shit instead of a bunch of junk. WHY IS THE SULK CLINGING TO ME, you may ask. I don't know. Sometimes you need to shake it off.

Last weekend I needed groceries. I wanted the sulk gone, I was tired, I wished I could be somebody else so that this would just STOP HAPPENING TO ME. I went through my closet and put on my red Hare Krishna-lookin' dress. Hair up, sunglasses on, here we go, off to Valentino's, a grocery store in a part of Ridgewood I hadn't yet been to. I knew I would not run into anybody I knew. That's why I love Ridgewood. Here, nobody wants to be seen, I don't want to be seen. Like I said before, Ridgewood is a magical forest realm. It felt good to push deeper into that forest, to recede from the places that were the sources of my troubles, to travel incognito, to pretend to be another person while pretending to run away.

At Valentino's, I picked out some peaches and some plums, some pasta and some sauce, a loaf of bread and all the rest. I pretended I was in the country and that I would be taking all of these things to my cottage, where I would stand in my kitchen and prepare myself a meal. In this life I lived in solitude, and there were no boys to cry over and no night ruining-ly shitty parties, no terrible morning commutes and no depressing account balances. I put the most pastoral products possible into my basket, which I imagined to be an actual basket instead of a red plastic shopping basket. I paid for my things and headed home back down the woodland path, also known as Woodbine Street.

I came home to my railroad apartment and changed into my regular clothes. Incognito clothes are very exhausting to wear and it feels good to put on your normal clothes because in the end it feels better to be yourself instead of somebody else. After I'd changed, I put on Soundtracks For the Blind and got to work on dinner. It felt like a moment in time like any other, and that's when I knew that the sulk was finally lifting. Sure, I wasn't OVERJOYED with life, but it was the first time in a long time that everything didn't feel completely awful. I think that going incognito and pretending to run away is a good way to give yourself a shake. It's like going through a wormhole. You tumble into another life and then crawl back into your own, transformed somehow and feeling lucky that it's just you, that this is your life and this is your house. If things can be so lovely in the body of the person you just pretended to be, why shouldn't they be just as good in your own?

It ain't all bad, I suppose.


Well, Labor Day weekend is upon us. Like I said before, it wasn't the greatest of summers, but I am letting myself enjoy what's left of it. I feel very good right now, actually: it all came to me on the train upstate to my friend's house. Everything out the window was so gorgeous, and the feeling of not caring whether what's-his-name or who's-his-face ever called me again was luxurious. I realized that even though summer is basically over, I have a lot to look forward to: Liars at PS 1 this weekend, some last-minute house party bangers, maybe one last psycho beach journey at dawn. And hot dogs: have I eaten a hot dog at all this summer? Or a popsicle? There's so much left to do. I'm willing to cram it all in, I think.

But, as you know, everything is up and down. Bad moods come and go. For now I'm enjoying being in a good mood, but when the next bad one comes I'll say BRING ON THE BROOD!

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