Evan Lavender-Smith


Artist is he who produces art.

The production of art is possible for Artist only while living in a state of unhealth.
        [E.g. Smoking cigarettes on the patio all day long, rarely exercising, drinking several beers per night, neglecting his wife and kids, neglecting his teaching, neglecting the dog, visiting mlb.com way too often, visiting pornhub.com way too often, rarely brushing his teeth, rarely bathing, thinking about death way too often, thinking about doing drugs way too often, doing drugs way too often, neglecting and finally alienating nearly every last one of his friends, never combing his hair, never shaving, staying in his PJs all day long, staying up until 4 AM listening to podcasts, regularly making haughty pronouncements about the merit of other writers’ writing as if he alone is the final arbiter of aesthetic judgment, regularly making haughty pronouncements about the merit of other people’s actions as if he alone is the final arbiter of moral judgment, shuffling aimlessly around the house while muttering incoherent literary award acceptance speeches under his breath, getting into fender benders because he’s thinking about his writing rather than his driving, slamming on the brakes and giving his wife and kids whiplash so he can scribble down some nonsensical short story idea, drinking as many as 12 cups of coffee per day, coughing all the time, runny nose all the time, throat often sore, ringing in ears, achy joints, accelerated heart rate, athlete’s foot, terrible hemorrhoids, frequent wheezing, chronic pain below left fourth rib, penis rarely erectable, claiming to disremember wife’s requests for his completion of basic household chores, often telling kids to shut up, regularly yelling at kids in a voice that scares them, once again resorting to use of toxic EU-imported deodorant, resorting to use of narcotic sleep aids, lying to doctors, lying to wife, lying to friends, lying to colleagues, lying to kids, lying to dog, masturbating beyond the point of exhaustion, writing beyond the point of exhaustion, reading beyond the point of exhaustion, watching MLB beyond the point of exhaustion, acting like he’s the only important person in the family, acting like he’s the only important person in the world, chronic eczema on knuckles, never submitting his writing to magazines, never updating his CV, never applying for jobs, never writing or calling old friends, rarely talking to parents, rarely talking to brother, being basically an estranged uncle to his niece, feeling so very put-upon while driving kids to and from their various extracurricular activities, pretending to read tedious articles in academic science journals so to not have to watch kids perform their extracurricular activities, eagerly awaiting wife’s offer to clip his toenails, regularly affecting exasperated sighs while cooking dinner, instead of cooking dinner getting drive-through at Taco Bell or McDonald’s or Subway five nights per week, eating Ibuprofen like they’re Skittles, eating way too many Skittles, never cleaning his workspace, eagerly awaiting wife’s offer to remove his earwax, rarely answering emails of any kind, disabling read receipts on his iPhone, self-Googling way too often, wearing the same pair of underwear four days in a row, incessant whining, incessant hyperbole, incessant nostalgia, spending 30 minutes on the toilet pretending to poo just to avoid interacting with his family, daydreaming about having affairs, daydreaming about people feeling sorry for him over the unfortunate hypothetical early deaths of his wife and kids, daydreaming about delivering eulogies at the funerals of his loved ones, daydreaming about listening to eulogies delivered at his own funeral, rarely taking his daily multivitamin, once again resorting to taking a once-daily antacid three or more times per day, not drinking enough water, forgetting to feed the dog, forgetting to check the dog’s water, failing to clean the dog poop from the yard, never even thinking about walking the dog, failing to wipe away the drops of urine he’s left on the toilet bowl rim, rarely servicing the cars, rarely checking the mailbox, lethargy, depression, anxiety, ennui, pain when urinating, premature ejaculation, increased proclivity for sexism, increased proclivity for passive-aggressive behavior, increased proclivity for driving to Krispy Kreme, rarely visiting grandfather in nursing home, failing to eat, failing to kiss wife goodbye when she leaves the house for work, rarely willing to engage in foreplay of any kind, often thinking of Nietzsche, refusing to allow wife to ever launder his jeans, etc.]

∴ Artist strives to live in a state of permanent unhealth.

Evan Lavender-Smith is the author of From Old Notebooks and Avatar. He lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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