Magical Nihilism #2 | Touch It Clean (Remix)

I’ve decided to reproduce the issues of my newsletter here . This issue was initially sent to subscribers on September 7, 2021. Want to receive future issues in your inbox, before they land on the blog? Sign up here.

The subject of this email is a reference to a song I keep hearing on Instagram Reels, which I get because it’s super catchy and works well as the soundtrack to these videos where two conventionally hot women change outfits through the magic of video editing. But then occasionally it’s used in, like, a modesty fashion video and then it’s kind of jarring because the lyrics to the song are “She turned around and was tryin’ to put my dick in her mouth, I let her” and, like, maybe I’m missing something but if your idea of a summer outfit is a full-length sweatsuit it seems strange to set your video about said outfit to that particular song. 🤷🏻‍♀️

ANYWAY! Last weekend I had brunch with my friend Shama, which was delightful for a number of reasons. We sat outside at Balthazar and had great food, coffee, and service… but the really good part was catching up with a friend who’s also a creative and getting to talk about stuff I haven’t had much occasion to discuss during le covid.

AND thanks to Shama, I finally understand what to use TikTok for. Shama started telling me about all of these hacks and products she’s discovered through TikTok, including something called The Pink Stuff, which gets your stove etc. way cleaner than everything else, and this company called The Hotel Collection that knocks off scents from your favorite hotels (I ordered a candle and some essential oil that smells like Santal 33 from Le Labo). Anyway the convo about The Pink Stuff led me down a TikTok cleaning rabbit hole and my apartment is now spotless, which is not the norm for me.

I’m in a state I guess I’d classify as pre-heartbroken. Something I want, or at least the version of it I want, is not going to happen, and I need to let it go. I’ve been coping through therapy and observing my feelings without judgment and all of the things you’re supposed to do, but also by fixating unhealthily on the things I can control. Like how clean my apartment is, whether my to-do list is complete, and doing all the things I’m “supposed to” do. Maybe if I systematically destroy the part of me that is chronically messy I will also kill my desire for this thing I cannot have. I don’t know but I’m trying. And yet I know that if I were really trying to destroy it, it would be gone. It’s my ego attachment to the story I want for my life right now that is keeping me in this limbo. “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it,” as David Foster Wallace quoted in Infinite Jest, the only thing that’s ever made me want to read Infinite Jest.

I can justify the diversions because they’re good for me. Daily exercise? Great. Not drinking? Even better. Clean apartment? A different person lives here now. Does this qualify as avoidance? I don’t know. My thoughts still veer into places of He doesn’t love me enough, or this would be simple. And then I follow those thoughts down an internal rabbit hole and cry in a way I haven’t in years. He, whichever He, has never loved me enough. And staring directly into that seems like coping, whatever else I’m doing the rest of the time. (Which is cleaning.)


Virgo New Moon Ritual. I try to do these rituals from Forever Conscious whenever there’s a New or Full Moon to clear out my energy.

Are you sending rapid-fire emails and calling it a life? OK so it feels a little weird to include something I wrote in a recommended link section (eventually I will include a separate section with stuff I’ve written recently), but this blog post resurfaced this week after Tiffany Han quoted the title in an Instagram post.

Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change by April Rinne. Found this book super timely, and unlike most business/personal-development books that repeat the same 2-3 ideas over and over for 300 pages, April came in hot with EIGHT ideas. I also liked how she connected individual struggle to societal forces that are shaping the world in not-so-great ways. Much of this may not be new to you (or me) but I like how she laid everything out. I listened to the audibook but I think a hard copy could be useful as a reference.

Yours in Magical Nihilism,

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