It’s a Friday night right now, and I’m sitting here alone in my room writing this. I’m more ADHD then usual – in addition to reading blogs, I’m also reading the Chang Rae Lee novel “On a Full Sea” and watching the movie “Southpaw” in alternating increments of time. This is my Friday night, and I’m good with it. Outside, somewhere in my apartment building, there’s a guy named Frank, and the fact that I’m not with him now, at this moment, well, that’s my major going-into-the-weekend victory.
Because tonight Frank represents temptation. Vice. Deviance. But, as I write this, I’m quickly realizing that temptation just isn’t what it used to be.
Around three in the afternoon, I ran into Frank in the laundry room. We small talked a little bit, and then he said, “Hey, man, let’s get some beers tonight if you want.”
This set the red flags off. I’d decided already that I wasn’t going to drink tonight. So, because of that, I looked at Frank and responded by saying, “Yeah man, sounds like a plan.”
I’m like a diabetic when it comes to will power. My ability to say no to things dips like someone’s blood sugar level might. And so Frank and I made a tentative plan to get drunk together on the roof of our building.
“Or we could start at PPD,” he said. “Does that sound okay?”
PPD is a pizza place in Changping. I’d already taken out some chicken to cook for dinner, which I planned to eat with seaweed soup. This is part of my new diet. And by diet, I mean ‘plan to get rid of my man boobs.’
“Great!” I said. “I’m totally down.”
Afterwards I felt guilty. I decided not to message Frank. If he messaged me, shit, I’d have to go get the pizza and beer. But if not, I could just sort of avoid him and have my depressingly healthy and sober Friday night.
See, this is what age does to you. When you’re in your twenties, you deal with tempting things like weed and cocaine and unprotected sex with promiscuous hippie girls. Will power means having to refrain from drinking too much beer at home before you go to the bar to drink more beer, or turning down the sketchy stranger when he approaches you on the street and offers you some mushrooms. Then you get older, and suddenly temptation has less to do with drugs and more to do with calories. Instead of the sketchy stranger on the corner, your pusher becomes McDonald’s. And instead of worrying that pot will kill your brain cells, you worry that it will lead to you eating potato chips, and the next day you’ll have to balance things out by eating raw carrots.
So, yeah, hooray for me. Frank never messaged and I survived. Fifteen years ago I might’ve gone home from a club without getting any phone numbers and I would’ve felt a little disappointed and regretful. And tonight I feel the same way. Only it’s about a pizza.