Every time I have bought opioids online, I have been ripped off. You go through the motions of downloading Tor, setting up a Wickr, and creating a Proton account. First you buy Bitcoin and then Monero. After the first burn, you’re more careful; do more research. You find a place on the dark net that’s like Amazon: it has user reviews, star ratings, the works. It’s all for nothing. There’s no accountability and no cops to call. At least getting ripped off for dime bags in middle school was less hassle.

However, there’s a simpler alternative. The normal Internet is actually filled with websites where you can buy most drugs without a prescription. To keep whatever international authorities off their backs, they don’t sell the really fun and really deadly stuff, but the rest is all there. No, not just Viagra and Cialis, but Elavil, Lithium, Seroquel, Wellbutrin, Trazadone, and on and on. Looking for that all American embrace of chemical-induced okayness? You don’t need insurance or even a doctor. Just poke around a little bit. Use search terms that include “without a prescription” and have a credit card—not a debit card—at the ready, like you were renting a car. Oh, and even if you aren’t just trying to impersonate Kurt Cobain when he’s feeling dumb, these websites are useful for impersonating Kurt Cobain when he’s feeling proactive. Plenty of those drugs can kill you in a high enough dose. Who knows, maybe I even named one of them. Because that’s the enduring rumination, isn’t it? Suicide. Albert Camus said it was the most important philosophical question, but he was wrong; suicide is the most important question of any sort. It is also a wolf that has haunted me my entire life and I can’t imagine anything capable of killing it.

I go to work and hate it, but then I go home and realize I have nothing to do. The nothingness overwhelms me, leaving me lying in my bed physically motionless but with my mind churning and churning. No doubt about it: the devil is not on my shoulder, he’s in my brain. The angel went AWOL at puberty’s onset. And that devil keeps whispering to those neurons: kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself. The alternatives are awful. I could read a book, eat by myself, or binge watch yet another television show. Hard to be sure what’s worse. Right now, my preferred way of not killing myself is to go to a restaurant, eat a steak and/or a mountain of pancakes, then return home to watch three hours of porn while I vape in bed. But with each passing week, I’m having to do that more and more times. The bank account is not looking good and every indulgence becomes an embarrassing addiction when it’s fed too often. I’m feeding this one too often and feeling embarrassed.

And there’s the refrain, the enduring rumination. What’s less embarrassing than being lonely, unhappy, and broke? Getting it all over with by killing yourself. Worried about the long-term impact of porn consumption? It’s irrelevant if you blow your brains out. After all, you know things won’t get better. You won’t become better. Not at all. Suicide solves the cyclical nature of it all. Yes, I could go out and get new friends, be part of a crew…for a time. That group, too, will dissolve. Its members will fall out, move away, die, get busy, etc. Yes, I could start dating again, hop on Tinder or whatever. And I could get a better job and move into a better place. I could do all of these things. Nothing is stopping me, not even money, really. But it will all just fall apart again. Not all at once, of course. Nothing is ever all at once. But all these life improvements will not work in any permanent way. I’ve lived all over the place, dated all kinds of women, and had friends of all sorts. These things do not last. Careers, loyalty, affinity, even love—that big one we all pray to—fade with time, and fade to nothing. Then I just start over, again.

And there’s the refrain, the enduring rumination. What’s less crushing than the futile cycles of life? Getting it all over with by killing yourself. And come to think of it, that might actually be something that really is all at once. Someday, I might find out.