My mind is my playground. It’s where I work and have fun, and where all my real friends are.
I return all text messages promptly on the first Monday of the year after I receive them.
I don’t believe in “small talk,” “catching up,” or letting people lecture me about this fake human construct of “your brother’s birthday party.”
I don’t often let people in, but when I do, I make sure it’s for a fleeting and confusing period that we both quickly agree was a mistake.
I don’t check email much. Once is plenty.
I am a closer! I close my doors, my blinds, my shades, my curtains, and my eyelids.
I work at home, alone, in beautiful solitude, but once a month to shake things up I work in a coffee shop, with headphones on, scowling at any strange shapes or noises that intrude on my personal space.
When I hear a phone ring, I hide under a table. When a person stands near me, I die a little.
I’m not into crowds; I’m into clouds. I’m not into clubs; I’m into shrubs. I prefer the predictable rhythms of photosynthesis and convection to the shocking neediness of people who start conversations.
I never feel obligated to attend house parties, dinner parties, or godawful weddings when I have a whole basement full of beautiful cactus pictures just begging to be re-organized.
I avoid dangerously crowded environments like shopping malls, public parks, and open cornfields where chatty farmers might be hiding.
When I hear the magical phrase — “Let’s hang out again soon!” — my face is wooden, but my brain chuckles and says, “dare to dream, you fool.”
When people rudely ask me open-ended questions, I practice the gentle art of saying, “can’t talk now,” “um, where’s this going?” and, “oh god, oh shit, run away.”
I shun these newfangled smartphones and dumbphones, and letting people talk at me with electricity. If I need to convey an idea to another living being, I mumble it to my pet cactus, Skeeter.
If I fall off the wagon and accidentally talk to someone, I voluntarily check myself into solitary confinement.
If I need to make a public statement, I write a message in a bottle, then cast it into the sea — but I fill it with sand, so it sinks very quickly.
When I’m overwhelmed, I pen brooding poetry about my idols: the lonesome saguaro cactus, the respectable golden barrel cactus, and the majestic prickly pear.
I’m mindful of my language: “supportive co-worker,” “friendly neighbor,” “loving aunt”—I call these people what they are: “treacherous opportunists.”
I live in central Alaska and vacation in northern Alaska, but my dream home is the inside of a sand dune in the Gobi Desert.
I pay a freelancer to subcontract my eye-contact and diffract my social tact so I can focus my optic tract on my new obsession: my 21-day homemade almond extract.
I practice the Walden technique: If too many social invitations pile up, I go live by an abandoned pond for a year.
“You are the sum of the five potted cactuses you surround yourself with the most” — that’s a rule I absolutely live by.
Four words: Amazon Prime grocery delivery.