I am going to put this as simply as possible, and then I will go back to pretending that I am sane:

A few days a week I work the counter at a small restaurant a block from my house. I am the only one behind the counter. I pick the music. Sometimes an album will end, and the music will stop. If I’m ringing someone up, I don’t have time to turn around and put on another album—so the only sounds in the restaurant are the ones that are normally partially obscured by music: people talking, people laughing, people burping, people chewing, people scraping their forks against their plates, and so on. For this reason I usually queue up a dozen or so albums, because having to hear any of this at full-blast is absolutely miserable.

I feel like most people realize that’s why there is music playing almost everywhere in public. It plays in malls, in restaurants, at the dentist. Hell, it even blares out at gas stations and vacant parking lots. The same goes for places that have dozens of TVs on at the same time: it’s noise. What all of this does is mask how completely absurd and weird it would be to find yourself in any of these places. It doesn’t allow you to think straight. Oh! There’s music. Everything must be OK.

In the case of my job, without music, it would cease to be a restaurant and suddenly be a small room full of strangers silently chewing on overpriced food.

OK, so, that being said: to me, and to a lot of people I know, that’s what every single god dang waking moment of our lives feels like anyway—it feels like a restaurant that isn’t playing any music. All that chewing!

And listen, I know there are many, many people in the world who are starving or homeless or don’t have access to potable water. So this sounds super fucking dumb to even write any of this down when you think about other people who are just trying to make it to tomorrow.

But I don’t know, man. I can’t help noticing this stuff and I ain’t alone, either. What’s the deal here? How do you numb yourself to that weird circus-y jail cell called existence???