Death in the Basement

2017

“Your dad and I had dinner with David last night,” Mom says.

“Oh, really? How’s David?” I ask.

“Well, it looks like he’s gained quite a bit of weight.”

I don’t want to talk about weight. Weight is sad and depressing and I hate that the first thing Mom told me about my cousin is that he’s gained weight.

“How does he like his job?” I ask.

“I think he likes it ok. He wants to relocate to the Atlanta office.”

“I don’t blame him,” I say. “I’d rather live in Atlanta too.” Honestly, I’m not sure where David is living at the moment, but I’m thinking Midwest somewhere. Indiana or Wisconsin or…what else is in the Midwest? It doesn’t matter. I just know that wherever David is living, I’d rather live in Atlanta.

“It would be great for him to move to Atlanta, because, did you know that Nancy only lives about 2 hours from Atlanta?” My mom asks.

“No. That’s great,” I say.

Ok, something that you should maybe know here: I have no idea who Nancy is. But my mom seems to think I do, so I’m not going to tell her I don’t, because I honestly don’t care who Nancy is and I don’t want a history of Nancy or why she’s important to me or at least important enough that I’m happy she’s living two hours away from Atlanta where my cousin may or may not be relocating.

Is that wrong? Is it wrong for me to not care about Nancy? Is it wrong that I don’t even want to know who Nancy is? Is it wrong that the main reason I don’t want to know who Nancy is is because it takes my mother forever to tell a story and usually I end up not caring about the protagonist in the story after 30 minutes of minutiae anyway?

It suddenly occurs to me that maybe this apathy is not good. How long have I not cared about the “Nancys” of the world? Has this lack of caring contributed to my basement dwelling?

In order to get out of the basement, do I have to stop feigning interest in people and attempt to actually care? Do I have to care about everyone?

Everyone?

Oh damnit. I’m gonna die in this fucking basement.

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