Zero-sum Equation

My life sucks. I’m 30 years old and working a dead-end retail job for minimum wage. I rent a tiny room in a house I share with 3 other sweaty guys. I hate my friends and the perfect lives they brag about every Friday night when we hang out at the local bar.

Since last year, I began noticing that whenever I experienced misfortune, one of my friends had positive news. My grandmother died the same time Pete got engaged. The company I worked at as a software engineer went bankrupt, while Jan got promoted at his job. My cat ran away; Chris bought a new car.

That’s when I realized fortune must be a zero-sum equation. There’s only so much good luck to share among all 7 billion people in the world. At our next Friday night hang out, I’ll pretend I have to get up early Saturday morning and leave before the others. Then I’ll slash the front-right tire on each of my friends’ cars. Let’s see how much happiness this brings me.

*This story appears in Confessions.