1. Listen to Rod Stewart constantly.
Rod Stewart is important for helping you transition from winter to spring, because (like early spring), he is sort of sad but real into stuff. It’s like how everything is very grey and brown right now, but there are still lupines poking up from under the dead blackberry leaves. His songs are usually about relationships not working out, but instead of seeming sad about this he seems to feel melancholy but also hella angry and relieved. Unlike my winter friend Bob Seger, Rod Stewart doesn’t want any of his girlfriends back. He just wants to tell them about how they hurt his feelings and he is so over it, which seems like a healthy reaction. I feel like if I dated Rod Stewart he would put up with my crap to a certain extent because he would be confused, but then one night he would go out with his girlfriends and he would describe my behavior to them and they would be like, “Oh girl,” and then he would decide that maybe he should dump me and they would agree and get him real whipped up about it and they would drink so many Cosmos and trash my name and then he would come home and I would be lying around in a white chair drinking melted chai tai ice cream and pushing on my cuticles with a file and he would say, “It’s over, dude,” and I would be like, “Whatever, get out of my house,” and he would be like, “It’s my house, weirdo,” and then I would throw a heavy thing through the bank of windows behind us and it would shatter and he wouldn’t say anything. And then I would call my friend Pablo and we would go on a road trip and Rod Stewart would write a song about it called “The Last Window,” or something.
2. Look at pictures of horses on the Internet.
One thing that you might have forgotten about, due to winter and tromping around and feeling pathetic, is that it is important to be proud, like a horse. This country America is a very beautiful country, which you might not be proud of because of politics or personal problems that you have. But you should probably be proud of America because it is an exotic place with many horses and grasslands in it. Maybe you should put on some clean clothes and go fight someone in a field instead of feeling sorry for yourself all the time. Maybe you should oil up your limbs and grow your hair out and run around being spooked by things and also disdaining bridles. Have you ever read the book “Black Beauty”? That’s a hell of a book. Take a page from it–go eat an apple and kick somebody’s uncle in the head.
3. Walk by some lakes or streams but not ponds.
Ponds are stagnant. What lakes have are birds and what streams have are plants that the water pushes back, but it doesn’t uproot them. You can look at the tendrils of the plants floating and bobbing in the water, and you can also see some rocks. Maybe you’ll get excited by some rose quartz and bring it home. Big mistake–nobody is ever impressed by rose quartz. Better throw it back in the stream and/or river. Blue rocks are good, even though they are common.
4. Learn how to frame pictures.
I bet you have a bunch of damn posters lying around your house in disarray. Maybe you should pretend to care about life and frame them so that they look less dumb. You can use an X-acto knife to cut the mats and you can also use that to make little cut marks all over your house. Do this on the underside of things, so that nobody else knows about it. You will know about it and it will make you feel as if you are the true master of your environment, a wizard unto your own furniture, and that pride will translate into an increased self-confidence that will have you winning over strangers and confidants by the dozen. Never tell them about the source of your power; they wouldn’t understand.
5. Listen to “Thunder Road” over and over again.
“Thunder Road” is a song that Bruce Springsteen wrote about getting his high school girlfriend to do something. You probably think that Bruce Springsteen is dumb, and he is, but you should love him for being a Dutch/Wop American who has felt some fucking emotions in his time. If you don’t believe me, listen to any of his songs. Anyway, “Thunder Road” is a good song because it is about overcoming obstacles like porches and not being good-looking in order to be in a car. Being in a car is a very American thing to do, so if you want to actually understand your personality you should probably do this as often as possible. You don ‘t even have to buy a car if you are afraid of fossil fuels; just rent one and then get in it and then make a turn and then make another turn and then get on a straight road and then see how the wind smells. You may end up seeing a number of towns, or better yet, seeing them vanish behind you.
6. Plant a magnolia tree.
I like magnolia trees because they have no leaves when they’re in bloom, just flowers. Pink ones are preferable but white ones will do. If you do this I will walk by your house A LOT.
7. Listen to Nick Cave’s non-ballad-y albums constantly.
I feel like if I went to Nick Cave’s house, it would be similar to going to PeeWee Herman’s house, in that all the objects in the house would be animate. It would be dissimilar to going to PeeWee Herman’s house in that all the objects would have bone-chillingly cool personalities, so you’d feel way too intimidated to get particularly intimate with them. The only friend you’d have would be the back porch, where there would be a lot of broken green chairs and you could maybe whittle on them a little.
8. Get in fights.
You’ve probably never been in a fight. Maybe you’d be really good at it? Maybe somebody could knock the books out of your hands and then you could take off your shirt and go into a hayloft and just hit somebody for a while? Maybe there would be lots of dust rising around you, catching in the sunlight coming through the gaps between the boards of the barn, and he’d catch you a good one, right under the jaw, and your teeth would crunch a little and you’d nip your tongue slightly and the blood would fill your mouth in a gush of copper and lime, and you would feel strong and angry and you’d wrest that other guy to the floor and pound on his ears until he yelled and then you’d both collapse and look at the ceiling, and the blue sky behind it, and all of your limbs would feel tired and full?
9. Watch “The Dogfather.
Just do it. How else are you supposed to find out whether or not your dog is actually a father, and vice-versa?
10. Learn falconry and/or make a hammock out of a barrel.
Realistically, you probably want an army of falcons. Barring that, wouldn’t you like to have a beautiful barrel hammock that you strung between two birches? You could lie in it and think about colors like ochre and slate, or you could drink mint tea in it and throw the ice at all the handsome people who might be playing badminton in white clothes nearby. They would get angry at you and then you could run and run and run into the woods and go hide under some maidenhair ferns and then get up and keep going. They’ll never catch you now.