When the forty-year-old puts on pants. Or a shirt when there’s company. Or any covering up of the casual Friday uniform, if casual Friday was casual existential crisis every what day is this anyway. The navel-gazing sleeveless V-neck somehow magnetically un-attracted to the navel. The nothing to hide tighty-once-whities, petrified since the undergraduate age. Or—if he’s (still) married: boxers and an eggshell silk robe.
When he moves from his writing/work desk. Which is a mattress on the floor. Or a sleeping bag on the floor. Or a bathroom mat next to a toilet. Or—if he’s (still) married: a mattress not on the floor.
When the penny jar gets past the two-fifty mark.
When he loses ten pounds. Does eleven pushups, attempts a yoga position other than the corpse pose, sprints to the next crack in the sidewalk. Takes his shirt off to swim. Hums the theme to Magnum, P.I. and promises to get his mind right.
When he defers his student loans for the day.
When he quits the booze, medicinal marijuana without medicinal need, or the all anxieties all of the time prescriptions. Or when he switches from five-day benders to two day benders. Or—if he’s (still) married: only two (and a half at most) breakfast beers. (Continued )