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  • Writer's pictureMoss Kaplan

Do I

Do I stay on hold with the airlines for a second hour trying to get a refund on flights or do I hang up and enjoy a couple fleeting moments of righteous indignation? Do I try and find a publisher who might be interested in The Ambivalence Chronicles as a book of essays or do I accept that my ambivalence about a book about ambivalence is an existential condition that I should learn to cope with, sort of like what I imagine people living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have to do? Do I water the plants or can they go another day? Same for mowing the grass. Same for shaving. Do I yell at the kids for leaving a trail of mess everywhere they go or do I build a special belt so I can wear the DustBuster on my hip like a sidearm? Do I stretch to avoid the crushing lower back pain when I bend over to weed dandelions or do I decide to let them go to glorious seed and instead spend energy on organizing everything in my life at waist height or higher? Do I tighten the toilet seat or do I learn to enjoy the tiny thrill of it slipping side to side when I sit? Do I brush my teeth for the recommended two minutes or just until my mouth uncomfortably fills with toothpaste foam? Do I pet our dog-whose-breath-smells-like-a-sewer or let the other members of the family give him the attention he craves? Do members of my own family have the same thought about me that I just had about the dog? Do I keep trying to live my dreams or touch up the paint on the upstairs deck railing? Do I drink 1% milk because I like it or because it's just what I'm used to? How about the "healthy" bread with 21 different kinds of seeds that I find I spit out at odd hours of the day? Do I acknowledge my privilege by gently referencing it in conversation with other privileged people when discussing the horrible inequities in the world or do I keep my relative good fortune on the down-low? Do I check my phone now or in thirty seconds? Do I accept the things I cannot change or do I stop looking at my stomach in the mirror? Do I admit that Nutella is really just spreadable chocolate or do I keep feeding it to my children for breakfast? Do I read the news or do I pretend that I live in a small village in the fifth century and the world is my family, two goats, and the breeze in the trees? Do I punish my daughter for accidentally destroying her Chromebook by leaving it in the backyard during a hailstorm or do I buy her another one with the 350 dollars I miraculously just earned back from the airlines after staying on hold for that additional second hour?

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