Print each one out and delete it immediately. Purging your space of negativity is part of the process. I used to save each one in a special little folder, but then I avoided the whole computer! I was like a scared little kid, too nervous to go into the dark basement full of monsters. Instead, you make them physical. Non-threatening paper. Drag the monsters to the light and consume them.
Take the stack to the Taco Bell off the highway entrance and order a soft taco party pack. I’m on a first-name basis with most of the staff by now.
Take a piece of paper off the stack and tear it in half, vertically. Line up the two halves and rip them up, line them up again, rip again. Repeat until you have a handful of small flakes. Open a soft taco and finger through the guts like a careless surgeon, pushing pieces of chicken and lettuce aside so that the little bits of paper can get to the heart of it. It’s important that they stay inside, not an afterthought like the sloppy shredded cheese.
If you really want to do it right, drop a packet or two of fire sauce over each one. That’s the trick I’ve learned. Let it take your breath away and force a hard reset on your thoughts. Besides, on their own, each one is too dry. It would take almost ten minutes to choke down a full piece of paper. The ink has a distinct, bitter flavor too. The shorter, the better. Less to take in.
You’d be surprised at how quickly the little pieces of paper dry up every bit of moisture from your mouth. So, you take your cup, that’s supposed to be for water, and hit the Baja Blast. Drink new life from that open cup, drown the bubbling mixture of gentle letdowns, indifference, and jalapeno cheese sauce. Concede to gluttony and fill your cup again, a final step in thinking ahead.
Sometimes the sauce packets offer wisdom too, “Use your stomach, not your mind.”
Aj Maiorana is an English major at Temple University. He does audio editing for podcasts and works as an education intern with Mighty Writers. Twitter: @ExtraSauce_