As deadly sins go, envy strikes me as one of the less lethal of the bunch. Certainly it's as counterproductive as any of the others, but seldom does it drive anyone to graver matters; its most obvious Biblical warning serves mostly to remind me that it's been a long time since a neighbor of mine had an ass worth coveting.

Still, its relatively low position on the heinousness scale doesn't mean it can be ignored, and frankly, there are a lot of people out there of whom I am insanely jealous. A sampling:

  • People who can hit the pillow and immediately fall asleep. I can't do this unless I've been up for better than an entire Bajoran day, and even then something is going to wake me in a couple of hours. I don't think I've had six hours' continuous sleep in years, and going to bed usually involves a couple of hours of thrashing and a replay of every uncomfortable incident since the Eisenhower administration.

  • Serious code warriors. I don't have the patience to be a programmer, except at the most trivial level. While the idea of building an entire world in microcosm has considerable appeal, my frustration threshold is too low; were I a terraformer, I'd waste a couple of planets before I ever accomplished anything.

  • The woman in the Doobie Brothers hit "What a Fool Believes". They meet in a restaurant, years later. To him, she was the one happy experience of his life; to her, he was just someone to kill time. I don't really want to be her, particularly, but I live in constant fear of turning into him.

  • Jandek. Not so much for his sheer musicality — some would argue that he doesn't have any, which would put us both in the same league — but for his evidently cordial and seriously supportive relationship with his muse, who has led him to produce more than thirty albums despite an almost total lack of attention from the outside world. (Migod, he's the prototype blogger!)

There are undoubtedly many, many others, but why make myself look any worse?

The Vent

#357
18 September 2003

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