Illustration by Seth Pala

Illustration by Seth Pala

Dear Cyrano,

I tend to fictionalize humans into things they are not. This is especially problematic when dealing with people that I’m attracted to, because, in my head, I paint them out to be these brilliant beautiful savants, when in reality they are vapid sorority girls. Ayuda me.

Don Quixote de La Mancha


Dear Don,

What I’m hearing is that you can’t sustain the delusion. You imagine these partners one way while reality is something else entirely. Plainly, reality is the source of your grief. You must learn to suppress it. I won’t go so far as to suggest a regimen of hallucinogenic drugs, because that can get me in trouble. Too bad. A regular diet of lysergic acid might be just the thing to inoculate you against the relentless intrusion of actuality on the illusory. It’s all perception.

Plainly, your fantasy life is far better than your real one, so you need to make it more sustainably concrete. At present, you are an incompetent fantasist. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t see any discrepancy between your so-called fictionalizations and the real world, ever. So you must become more purely and completely deluded. Without drugs, this is an arduous process. You will need to acquire proper habits. Throw yourself into the world of senseless thoughts and actions. First, become celibate. Then frequent nature fests. Participate in all manner of cultic ritual. Tell people you’re moving to San Francisco, but never go. Write suggestive letters to wild animals, and invite them out for a night of dancing and doughnuts. Join the Tea Party. Spend absurdly long periods of time in the desert with a mannequin strapped to your back. Drink bathtub gin. Fight the urge to pee. Stay celibate. Go to Holocaust museums and stand in front of horrifying photographs exclaiming, “I don’t know much about history but I know what I like!” Draw cat whiskers on your face, and purr whenever someone comes near you. Eat enormous amounts of kiwi and coconuts; carry a rucksack filled with them wherever you go. When encountering strangers, consider their tongues, imagine the taste and feel of them, and comment freely and loudly. Remain celibate. In the evenings, invite yourself out to dinner. Take yourself home. Nuzzle up to yourself on the couch and whisper suggestive comments. Take advantage of yourself, but only up to a point–you’re still celibate, you idiot. Then, before you go to sleep, tap 100 times lightly on the side of your head with a ballpeen hammer. In the morning, wash your eyes with salt water and iodine. Carry a mouse in your pocket all day every day. Continue to do these things for at least half a year or until you no longer have to think about them to do them. Then find someone to whom you’re attracted, and see if you give a rat’s ass about their intellect or anything else. Screw reality.