I am suffused with anxiety. Where am I going to live? How am I going to make money? Do I really want to go back to school? When’s the last time I went out on a date? What the hell am I doing with my life? Why is it so hot and humid today? Did I use the word “suffused” correctly in that first sentence? Anytime I put this many question marks in a single paragraph, it’s probably a sign that I’m not sleeping well or thinking straight.

And then I duck into a record store to get a dose of air conditioning. And I notice that they seem to have marked down a lot of their overstock. And I remember that I have a credit card. And I say to myself “to hell with it all,” and pig out on discounted CDs. New releases from old favorites, joyous lounge-pop duos, bands I meant to check out twenty years ago, rich-voiced one-hit wonders, lushly moody synth-pop: all of these give succor to a nervous spirit. Now all I need is a bigger iPod to carry all this around in.