At a bar in Berkeley last night I watched a bunch of grad students sing and flail their bodies around in a way that just made me feel god damn awful. I was sitting alone at the end of the bar holding some shitty beer and I remembered that in one week I will be twenty-six years old.

A lady leaned over and said, “You OK, man?”

And I said, “No. I’m too cynical for this place.”

“Me too. But we’ll always have our dark corner.” She turned away.

I sat there for a few more minutes watching white people pretend to have the time of their lives and decided then that, as a birthday present to myself, I’m going to fly to Nashville in early February and face total annihilation.