Hello Shitstorm, Hello Meatgrinder, installment #5, the Do’s and Don’ts of the Wild and Free

By Adam Gnade

DO kind acts in an unjust world. Go out today and make someone (anyone) feel like life isn’t just a ridiculous nightmare shitting on their head.

DON’T ever hurt or scare children because that makes you the antithesis of all good things.

DO stand tall and try to look people in the eye because everyone good has something to be proud of. If you think you’re no good or a dirtbag or a failure or just worthless, look harder. I’ve been there before and I find myself coming back to this all the time: What do I have to offer? What’s the measure of me in a world full of others doing so much better? It’s something you will (and must) revisit and relearn constantly.

DO take time to sit down, drink a glass of water, and do nothing at all except let that happen. Even if it’s just three minutes on your lunch break. Shut your eyes. Breath deep. Listen to the world around you.

DON’T blame a lack (or praise an abundance) of luck. There’s no such thing and trying to harness an untrue entity is counter-productive. What happens to you as you knock your way through life is a matter of causality; it’s a combination of actions, reactions, and chaos. Give credit where it’s due.

DO resist tyranny. Learn about direct action. Break all unjust laws and do so with joy in your heart.

DO eat food that comes from the ground, not a plastic box. It’s cheaper and you’ll feel better in the morning.

DON’T assume everyone is angry with you/tired of you/embarrassed of you. Chances are they’re busy dealing with their own shit.

DO celebrate the good days because life’s not always fun or wonderful. Scream around the bonfire. Drink from the well. Shout the rafters down. (Metaphorical or otherwise.) DON’T pay attention to celebrities who do anything less than life-changing work. Either way, remember this: they’re not your friends and they’re not your family.

DO act like a machete against the vines that hold you back.

ADAM GNADE is the author of three books of fiction, Hymn California, Caveworld, and, most recently, Locust House. His series of novels and connected “talking records” are released by Pioneers Press and Three One G. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin‘ Sad. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, he now lives and writes on the Hard Fifty Farm situated in the hilly countryside between Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS. He is currently working on a “large and substantial novel about Americans at home and away” with a late-2017 release. His work is available at http://www.pioneerspress.com