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The International Writers Magazine: Life

Youth and Beauty
Ben Smith

I awake only to move to the couch. And there I stay, rising only to piss, or wash down a Paxil. A Buspar. An Effexor. The sun rises. It sets. Maybe it decides to rise again. The house is cold. I grip a blanket. A playlist of The Decemberists hums repeatedly from a computer for the majority of a day. Possibly two. Unmotivated to stand, to turn it off, I stare in the laptop’s general direction, wishing it was unplugged, so the battery would simply die. It occurs to me that if this were the case – the battery was to die – I would only be jealous.

I’m tired. No matter how much I sleep. Lethargic. My body aches. My head is full. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to drink. Breathing is a laborious task. I wait for the day to end. I want the night to be over. It may be the next day, but I’m not sure. Everything is dark.

Another day is spent half on the couch, half hanging off. Images flash across a television screen. Happy, ignorant people show me the life I want that doesn’t exist, in an attempted play on my brainwashed consumeristic needs, calling out to me, and if I listen closely, I can hear the subliminal whisper, "Come. Join the youth and beauty brigade." The robotic mantra of a generation. Sex, drugs, and materialism. "Real World" fashion clones. A society of lackeys. College educated yes-men and women. Herd mentality void of original thought and mental capabilities. Do what you are told. Mimic everything you see. Speak only in quotes. Watch "American Idol". You too can belong. You can be cool. You can be just like everyone else. Go. Join the youth and beauty brigade.

Benjamin Smith April 2008

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