How I Failed at Life in Quebec City by Guillaume Morrissette

That year, in what would later become a signature move for me, I had begun to feel truly, deeply fucked.

I had no girlfriend or love interest. I desired less and also masturbated less. I mentally classified most people that I met as either unattainable or suffering from a kind of sad, terminal inner artlessness. In my evaluation of people, there was no middle ground, only those two categories.

I wasn’t being aggressively social because being social meant being underwhelmed.

I felt like I had failed at life in Quebec City, but that the failure was entirely mine, and not Quebec City’s. Maybe I would fail at life all over again in Montreal. Maybe the city would be better at downplaying or minimizing my flaws and shortcomings as a fully grown human person. “This is what we want from a city,” I thought, “for it to downplay our flaws.” Maybe I would gain weight instead of losing weight. Maybe I would just disappear altogether. I wasn’t sure what would happen. I felt anxiety. “This is good, feeling anxiety is good,” said my anxiety in the park. The sensation was oddly comforting.

Excerpted from Maisonneuve