Mr. Wright . . . has spent 32 years doing the right thing– studying hard, getting good grades, working late, refraining from excessive drug use– in order to achieve his ideal future. Believing his future wife would be displeased by a string of casual encounters, he also abstained from casual sex. At this moment, he remembers the darkest and most trying point of his life. It was in the small hours of January 21, 2000– his twenty-third birthday– when he nearly surrendered his goal of becoming a venture capitalist. He hated New York– a city with frigid winters, where he had no friends. He was less than a year out of college, and he loathed his job– he was an analyst at an investment bank; the work was boring and the hours were brutal. A virgin to this point, he questioned his decision to pursue academic excellence in lieu of college “fun”, i.e. binge drinking and the pursuit of women. This is what I worked my ass off for? THIS? Taking a 3:00 am cab ride out to Brooklyn after a 19-hour work day, he was pretty sure that in five hours, he’d be resigning from Wall Street forever. . . .
As soon as he sat down on his couch, he crashed. He hadn’t set an alarm clock, but who cares about being on time for a job that one is about to quit? Nonetheless, he arose naturally at 7:20. The winter sun had barely risen, but the sky was the clearest he had ever seen it. Outside, it was certainly very cold, but at least it was beautiful. Aaron, a freshly 23-year-old nobody, brushed his teeth, skipped the shower, suited up and went to work. He felt a bit better, and was determined not to collapse entirely, not to flunk out of his job. . . .
That night in January, when Aaron nearly lost hope, could have derailed his career. It was the point where he stared into the hibernal abyss, and nothing but a few drifting snowflakes stared back. At the same moment, Sarah was in college. At a party. Getting split open by a beer-breathed fraternity brother.
Read the whole thing.
Also, I saw the movie Observe and Report this weekend. I don't have much to say about it, other than that it's a dark, demented version of Mall Cop, which I already reviewed. Once upon a time, an unobstructed view of the male organ of generation brought a film an "X" rating. Does anybody know what "R" film succeeded in breaking this taboo?
I've also been reading A Confederacy of Dunces, about which I also have little to say. I wonder if women, when complaining about "betas" or "nerds", actually have somebody in mind like Ignatius Reilly. (And if you haven't read the book, you can get an idea from the picture on my Amazon link.) It occurred to me that, in light of the author's suicide at age 32, Ignatius Reilly was somehow a projection of the author's negative self-image, an alter-ego representing, not everything he wanted to be, but everything he was afraid he might become.