Look at you! You are young, spontaneous, and brimming over with earnestness, and you should not let any of that go to waste by just focusing on yourself. There are tons of men out there drowning in ennui, and it’s up to you and your effervescent naiveté to save them before it’s too late. So get out there with your ice cream cone and your sack of poems—make one of these sad men happy!
Lucas thought life after college would be somehow…more. After you demand to know what he’s writing in that café and he tells you you’re funny without knowing you are, the two of you will become unlikely friends. Your unwavering support will help him finish his short story and show him as no teacher ever could that he is as brilliant as he always hoped. When he’s not looking, mail his manuscript to the New Yorker, not realizing until it’s published that his story was about you, and maybe a little bit exploitative. But hey—he’ll be happy, and that’s all that matters!
Geoff lost his job on the same day his girlfriend dumped him. Good thing he met you in the self-help section of the bookstore, where you were browsing because there’s a kind of poetry in sadness. Lead him, barefoot, to your chicken coop and gather eggs to lob at the windows of his old office and girlfriend’s car. He’s not so wound up anymore, and all because you shared a little of your playful nature. Isn’t it rewarding to be somebody’s abstract concept?
Jacob is married with a good career, a loving wife, and two beautiful kids, and yet he goes through life in a fog. Shake him out of his misery by taking him on one of your spontaneous, youth-fueled adventures. Grab his hand and lead him to the merry-go-round, however much he protests. Show him the thrill of shoplifting a candy bar. Sure, things will get rough when he eventually cheats on his wife with you, but it will all work out in the end when he realizes that life was waiting for him at home all along. You are so helpful like that!
Herold doesn’t have many friends these days, perhaps because he’s a cynical sad sack. But you see the light in this world-weary curmudgeon, and you can show him that there is so much good to be done in this world. Bring him to the soup kitchen you volunteer at, where everyone knows your name, and show him how good it feels to help others. He’ll bask in the sense of community that follows you wherever you go, and getting outside his own head will give him the purpose he’d been looking for.
Mr. Fogerty, 84
Mr. Fogerty is not doing so well, so it’s good you chose to knock on his nursing room door that one rainy day. He can feed off your joie de vivre in these last few months of his life, as you read your favorite poems to him and bring him on a risky pilgrimage to visit his wife’s grave. You remind him of her, you know. You weren’t doing anything else this weekend, were you?
Now that you’ve helped these men find the joy and purpose in their lives, it’s time to focus on what really counts: the rest of the downtrodden men of the world. You don’t have those wide eyes for nothing!