I do not remember being born - not because I am forgetful, but because I was not sufficiently observant at the time. My fault entirely.

According to Spotify Wrapped, my #1 most listened-to song of 2023 was Harry Nilsson's "Nobody Cares About the Railroads Anymore." I am not sure if this is proof that I care about the railroads, or that I care about "Nobody Cares About the Railroads Anymore," or just that I am a deeply flawed person.

Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen" came it at number four. This news was unexpected. This news was destabilizing. Every time I listened to Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen" in 2023, I imagined that I was performing in some sort of Lawrence Welk-style variety show. In this fantasy, I am in a hyperrealistic radish costume. Over the radish I sport tux, top hat, and tails. My gloves are white. I am holding a cane. I begin center stage, swaying gently, a palatable crooner. Then, around the first "though we go on our separate ways," I begin to dance. At some point a kick line of Rockettes comes in behind me. We link arms. We kick. We dazzle. I begin visibly bleeding out. By the time the song ends, I am covered in blood, tap dancing frenetically. I collapse. The Rockettes are professional, perform smilingly throughout, and end with a perfectly executed toe-tapping finale. They don't bleed at all. They are highly professional.

This radish choreography was not mentioned in my Spotify Wrapped.

I re-downloaded tiktok for about three days in December. I binged. I learned the term "maladaptive daydreaming" from a teenager. I watched a hot NYC friend group lip-sync to Sue Sylvester dialogue. A man said "Whoa - are you scrolling instead of sleeping?" Asshole. I deleted tiktok.

I deserve to dance radishly alongside the Rockettes. I deserve to let myself make something called Content and post it Strategically and become the sort of person who gets sent promotional moisturizer via FedEx. See me, world! Love me! Love even the parts of me I don't especially like! Love especially the parts of me I don't especially like!

I do not remember being born. I am okay with this. It seems too sticky to be worth remembering. The years since have been less a progression and more an accumulation. I am not sure if I am okay with this - I would prefer neater narrative structure - but I have to be okay with this. Life is sticky. Everything carries risk. A lot of things carry reward, but also a lot of arthropods carry bloodborne pathogens. Vector-borne illness is always a threat. Amtrack tickets are fairly pricey. Potato chips taste nice but make the tongue funny.

Are you scrolling instead of sleeping? Yes I am, baby boy. Yes yes yes you betcha yes I am.