Every Sad Story Is A Jerking Off Story

And also the reverse.

A colleague of mine is of the belief that men won’t wear sunglasses because they’re afraid to look like they’re bothered by how bright it is outside. They don’t, she insists, want to admit that nature has power over even the most basic things they do. I find this theory both comical and insulting and yet as a man who does not himself wear sunglasses, whose reasons are wildly at odds with this extremely erroneous opinion, I am willing to accept the possibility that somewhere deep down I might be susceptible to that fear or something like it. It is difficult to rule out entirely because we are mysteries to ourselves, our whims and habits the results of hundreds of experiences we can neither acknowledge nor recall.

In any event, I was reading the story I am about to recommend to you in the park yesterday, and for the first time in many years I wished for nothing more than to have something behind which to hide my eyes, because I found myself crying in a way that was obvious enough that I could not plausibly play it off as allergies or a speck of dust. I know we’re all supposed to hate Jon Ronson because he refuses to validate our beliefs about whom we are allowed terrorize on Twitter when they say something offensive, but if you can see past that you should read his piece on custom pornography — “Fans write their own scripts and pay us to shoot exactly what they want”—since so much human sadness can be found within it, including one incredibly heartbreaking moment that I am warning you about here so that you can prepare yourself in advance. Your reaction to it might not be as strong as mine, but just in case you should bring shades.