We were trying to figure out what is wrong with ourself this week (on top of the obvious, which is unfortunately a chronic condition): we have been Lethargic and Disinterested in Things, and Unable to Get Out of Bed, and when we go to Work on Our Projects we end up staring vacantly at the computer for a long time and then obsessively cycling through fashion blogs produced by 23-year-old Venice Beach denizens, and even Trying to Earn Money seems like more effort than it is worth (well, that is sort of always true, isn't it? IT IS ABOUT TIME FOR OUR TRUST FUND, UNIVERSE, AHEM). We thought maybe we had mono but then we realized it is our Annual End of Summer Malaise, best treated by surrounding ourself with the most mindless literature we can get our hands on, not trying to accomplish too much, eating dubious Japanese takeout, and napping. We might also watch Armageddon again.

But it is hard! To relax! Do you have this problem? We have been so poor for so long that there is that, right, the little voice in our head shrieking WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU LAZY ASSHOLE DO YOU WANT TO BE HOMELESS--not that that voice is wrong, entirely, but we are not going to get much broker than we already are by fucking off for a week. It is more than that. In some ways it is harder to be a freelancer, because it is harder to separate out love and money, and then everything starts to feel like work--blogging, writing the things we want to write, even saying hi to people on the tweeter, or things like, you know, making ourself dinner or getting out of bed. There is no coming home from the office and escaping the shackles of your crazy boss for Imagination Land, because your office is your house and you are your own crazy boss. We have worked for some awful, awful people, but none of them has ever been quite so hard on us as we are on ourself.

We are left, in our most Malaise-ridden hours, with the persistent nagging sense of having Accomplished Nothing, although we have no idea what it is exactly that we are trying to Accomplish; we can write four thousand words in a day, or clean the entire house, or wrestle someone's nightmare of a term paper into something resembling English and watch our bank balance tick ever-so-slightly toward being able to cover next month's rent--and still feel as though we have done nothing of any value all day and we are going to be poor forever and no one will ever read our stupid book anyway and HOW IS IT THAT NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD US HOW WEIRD-LOOKING WE ARE AND ETC. And it is not as though we can look to the outside world for comfort; we (the collective, not the royal) are SERIOUSLY FUCKED, dear creatures! Like, REALLY FUCKED. It is hard to take, how fucked we are! We (royal, not collective) make jokes about it--this is what is known as Gallows Humor--but it is in fact demoralizing! the degree to which we are fucked! and the wrong people are winning!

So, dear beasts, what do YOU do when you have the Malaise? How do you snap that monster back into its cave? Do you go for walks? Have mantras? Can we all have a Moment together, of Love and Encouragement, and clutch each others' hands and promise to take care of each other when the end times come? Will you be extra nice to everyone around you? Because one of those people might be the Rejectionist, and a little kindness goes a long way when a person has got the Malaise. We are sending you lots of love, too. Okay? Okay.