..I encounter stuff and I just can’t help feeling like an idiot.

Stuff like this.

I read about this fabulous loft this artist has and I start thinking, what am I doing wrong? Why am I still scraping from month to month? Why couldn’t I have bought property in 2000? Why don’t I live at that level? Why, why, why isn’t that me?

It’s ludicrous.

And it certainly isn’t about Shirin Neshat, who is an artist who makes work that I respect and who I’m sure is a lovely person. And it isn’t about any realistic assessment of my current life, because that would have to include facts like:

I rent a spacious and welcoming apartment in a neighborhood I enjoy.
I have many people in my life who I care about and who care about me.
I get to make work, and show that work to people with great frequency. I also get paid to do so on occasion.
I have a job where I can both teach and learn. One that shows no signs of going away any time soon.
With a simple request I can get my face licked for hours on end by Lehigh.

And yet and yet and yet I still haven’t been able to banish that stupid covetousness that I mix up with ambition; ambition for the trappings of a certain kind of worldly success. I still feel that twinge and for a moment think that because I’m not there I’m some sort of a stooge.

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