As I sat at my desk yesterday, I found myself contemplating how many different ways there were to kill myself using only the items at my workspace.
There are 53.
After scrutinizing just how long paper cuts from the phone book would take to "do me in," I realized that it had been almost six months since my last significant life change.
You see I suffer from a rare but annoying disease. I was diagnosed at age 12 and have lived with it for pretty much my entire adult life. The clinical term is Preferus Unstabilus, but it's more commonly known as being allergic to routine.
I'm sorry to say but it's not one of those "sexy" diseases like dysentery or AIDS, so very little research has been done on it outside of, well, me.
The main symptom is the overwhelming urge to make huge, drastic " mostly irrational " changes at regular " albeit short " intervals throughout my life. This could be anything from rearranging my apartment, moving, changing jobs, changing personal appearance, impulsive vacationing or creating a fun new nickname that I will inevitably regret later.
For example, In college I thought Jarid "Golden Thunder" Shipley would catch on, sadly "Hey Fat Guy" proved more popular.
At my first job, I wanted something smooth and sultry but evoking a powerful and somewhat destructive image.
Sadly, Jarid "Tsunami Goodness" Shipley died faster than my dream of becoming a plus-sized underwear model.
But all these failures were symptoms of the underlying problem, my inability to let things remain the same.
No status quo for me, I have to shake it up or my irrational side will do it for me. While it has made my life interesting, it has also resulted in a lack of cohesion.
In fact, if you take my life five years ago and compare it to present, there isn't a whole lot of similarity.
Only three things have managed to survive the systematic purging of my life: my facial hair, my choice of underwear style and my always cheery, optimistic disposition.
OK, two things. Two things have managed to survive.
This presents a problem because I feel another episode.
My apartment is too small to make a change, my bank account it too small to move and my ego is too small to change my underwear style.
Why not just do nothing?
Good question, and for the answer I will direct you to my high school senior picture, complete with BLEACH BLONDE PERMED hair done in the style that can only be described as "Flock of Seagulls style done by drunk one-handed barber."
That's what happens when I try to ride out an attack, I end up with scarring, permanent, therapy-inducing, crying-alone-in-dark-while-holding-myself-harm done to me.
So, I am left with no choice. The facial hair that I have grown, trimmed, shaped and nurtured for almost a decade, is getting "Britney-ied."
According to the dictionary of Jarid, to Britney means to shave or maim as a way to get attention or bring into question one's mental status.
At this point it's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of how much is going to end up "Britney-ied."
It's either that or I do nothing and one day, not very long from now an urge will overcome me and I'll pierce my eyebrow with my stapler.
Make that 54 ways to kill myself, and still counting.