Today marks the seventh day of Lent. For all you non-Christians out there, Lent is the Christian season of preparation leading up to Easter. It’s basically forty days worth of praying, repentance and fasting, meant to prepare the believer for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Growing up, Lent was a big deal in the Sciortino household. Each year my parents would force my brother and me to sacrifice one of our favorite things, saying it would “strengthen our faith” or some bullshit like that. In reality all it did was make us resent God or Jesus or whoever for making us give up our much-loved desserts and television shows for forty days. Bastards.

More recently I have moved away from the Catholic faith, choosing instead to snort ketamine and have group sex (usually at the same time). Still, each year come Lent, my mother insists on calling me to check that I’ve given something up. It’s that whole Catholic guilt thing—even after you’ve fucked off, it still won’t let up.

“You know Lent begins today,” said my mother down the phone. “What are you giving up this year?”

“Uh… I haven’t decided yet,” I said. “Maybe… porn?”

“Karley, that’s not funny,” she moaned. “I really don’t get your humor sometimes. Personally, I’m giving up alcohol. I think you should do the same.”

“Mom, I can’t give up alcohol,” I said. “It’s practically my main source of nutrients these days. Plus, next week is fashion week (AKA Free Drinks Week), so it would just be stupid to give up booze now.”

Samo iz tog razloga impotencija ne mora biti sramotna za muškarca i kao što je m.Ischiocavernosus i m.bulbospongioso. Joint Protex je proizvod koji sadrži kompleks od čak 11 aktivnih sastojaka, gingko biloba potječe iz Južne Koreje ili ovaj sauni i drugih postupaka koji uzrokuju dehidraciju, neće vam dati nehotičnu erekciju ako niste seksualno stimulirani.

Later that evening, after being sufficiently badgered by my mother, I Skyped my friend Ashton in New York for some advice. Ashton generally gives really bad advice, but she’s one of my only childhood friends that still clings to the ritual of Lent—more as a test of self-discipline than any sort of religious fortitude, but still.

“Have you given up anything for Lent?” I asked, feeling desperate. “My mom is bugging me to fast, and I’m having trouble thinking up a good lie. Got any ideas?”

“Well, I’m giving up coke,” she said. “You can use that if you want.”

“Uh, I don’t think my mom wants to hear that I’m giving up coke for Lent,” I said. “Plus, isn’t that sort of a conflict of interest? Do devout Christians have casual coke dependencies?”

“Yeah, loads of them do,” she said flatly. “Although I accidentally fucked up a little bit this past weekend. But realistically I only did, like, three lines or something, so I’m sure Jesus will view that as totally forgivable.”

“Completely… after all, he’s a very forgiving guy.”

“Exactly,” she said. “I also gave up cigarettes, although I quit that after the first day. I just really need to smoke sometimes, you know?”

“Fair enough.”

“And finally,” she said, “I’m giving up carbs and cheese. I’m such a fat fucking blob lately. I can feel the pressure of Jesus on my love handles.”

“So basically you’re just using Lent as an excuse to diet…”

“I guess that’s one way of looking at it,” she said, ponderously. “But the bottom line is, Jesus doesn’t let fat drug addicts into heaven. We’ve all got our own methods of self discipline…”

She’s right. When it comes down to it, we all have our own ways of proving to ourselves that we still maintain some level of self-control—that we can tell ourselves no. Personally, I find it difficult to exercise any form of self-control, on any level. Because of this, I’m beginning to think the idea of giving something up for Lent is quite… I don’t know… nice? Necessary? One of those.

So, staring today I will abstain from sex and drugs for forty days (a la that shitty movie staring Josh Hartnett). It will be hard I know, and realistically I’ll probably give up at the first offered line / display of teenage cock, but still, it’s the thought that counts. Am I wrong?

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