The time of year is upon us when we take stock of our personal journeys and reflect on all that we accomplished the year before as well as what we did not accomplish. For every closet we successfully reorganize, there’s a historical romance novel we didn’t finish writing. For every fitness goal we achieved, there’s a U.S. ambassadorship we did not secure. And for every puggle we get accepted into private daycare, there’s a puggle who has to make do with a private dog-walking service. In the face of that annual specter of unrealized dreams, I’ve decided to focus all of my spiritual electricity into finally accomplishing the one New Year’s resolution that manages to fall by the wayside year after year. In 2019, I’m finally going to finish bricking my nemesis up behind that wall.
Look at his stupid, handsome eyes. I can still see them. Literally—I haven’t placed that brick yet.
Before applauding my courage and resolve, I should tell you what an emotional toll this particular resolution has taken, not only on me but on my friends and family as well. First of all, any major renovation project can throw the energy of your home into complete disarray, and building a living tomb for your greatest enemy is no exception. Ideally, this kind of project would be done in a basement, but the idea of owning a West Hollywood condo that actually has a basement is so patently absurd that it barely deserves mentioning. You have to commit a significant portion of your living space to burying someone alive behind a wall of unfeeling stone, and I decided to section off the west wing of my kitchen area, where the breakfast nook used to be. As you can imagine, this has made breakfast virtually impossible to enjoy, as the polished glass of the dining room table is really meant for hosting large parties and not for a cozy plate of fruit and egg white spinach protein capsules. Also, Siri’s loudest setting is no match for the constant wailing of my nemesis as he struggles against his shackles, effectively drowning out Pod Save America.
Second, building a tiny walled prison is one of those chores that demands attention but doesn’t excite your passion, sort of like a sink full of dirty dishes. You know it’s a task that needs to be done, but you just can’t feel excited or inspired enough to accomplish it. Every morning, I roll out my yoga mat in front of what used to be my charming breakfast nook at 5:00 A.M. to do my morning poses, and the instant I set the timer on my Apple Watch, I have to endure shouting and the rattling of chains until I finally decide to roll my mat up and finish my poses in the master bedroom. Of course, all the masonry dust from the stack of bricks and mortar collect on the bottom of my mat and get tracked into the bedroom carpet, which means I have to call a carpet-cleaning service, and by the time they arrive and finish up, the whole morning is already gone. So I have to move all of my morning plans to the afternoon, and shit, all my afternoon plans to the evening, and by the time 6:00 P.M. rolls around, I’m in no mood to start laying brick. I can’t start working up a sweat that close to bedtime—I’ve been on a strict schedule of morning showers for two decades, and I can ill afford to disrupt my personal harmony any further than it has already been. And lest you think my sleep cycle has continued uninterrupted since I first made this resolution, not a single setting on my noise machine can cut through the constant stream of blubbering obscenities drifting in from my living room. I swear, the man never sleeps. Truth be told, I can’t even remember why I was mad at him, but that ship has long sailed. At this point, it’s the principle of the thing.
What’s worse, people have stopped accepting invitations to my home, whether it be for formal dinners or a more casual wine-and-cheese rewatch of Game of Thrones. Even my closest friends have kept their distance, and I can’t send anyone a friendly “Hey, what’s up?” text without immediately being interrogated about the man in the jester costume partially immured in my breakfast nook.
So this year, I’m putting aside all other resolution considerations and giving my solemn vow to Gaia and all the spirits of the zodiac that I will finish laying the bricks for my horrific prison even if it takes me all weekend. At the very least, I should have it done by the time the last season of Game of Thrones premiers.