I hate it here, but I wouldn’t leave for all the money in the world. Probably because all the money in the world is here, and that’s part of why I hate it here. But regardless of the money – I’m not leaving. I can’t. Mostly because I’m afraid to find out who I would be if I took myself out of the context of this country. This state. This city. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t hate America. And by ‘hating America’ I mean in that special way that only Americans can be self loathing. This isn’t the poor outsiders, looking in, envious of what I have. This is me, looking at myself, enjoying everything that there is to enjoy about being an American, and being vitriolic nonetheless. Apparently no amount of privilege can cure the rancor in my heart. I hate this place because I don’t know how to love this place. There are too many logical fallacies contained within the idea of America. To love America is to pledge oneself blindly to its lies. To hate it is to see the flaws and fume. So I hate it here. But I’m not leaving. Not because I’m dead set on making it a better place – I’m not. I’m just taking up space here because, my god, it is convenient. Taking up space anywhere else just seems so inconvenient. These other countries with their other rules and their other laws. What if I move to a country where there’s something that I dislike – and, then, I won’t be home, so of course I will be miserable. I’m in love with the devil I know – I am comfortable with this apathetic discontent. I am at home with the hate in my heart. It is an elemental part of who I am. If I left, I would crumble. My ego would fold in on itself. Without the hate upon which so much of my personality and morality are built – I would vanish, in a puff. I am good at hating America. I excel at the hypocrisy of sneering at the systems that give me privilege. It is what I do best. And there’s nothing more American than that, is there? I, American. Center of the universe. I, the quintessential American. There is no one more American than me, because there is nothing more American than the solipsistic world view that all of this is me. Mine. Not yours. Mine. Hands off. Don’t touch this rotting corpse of a country – it is mine to devour. I am the most beautiful thing here. The star student. The favorite child. I am the scion of America, which I hate. This is all for me, me, me. Which is what every other American thinks – we are a nation of planets around which the rest of this galaxy rotates. We are a conundrum, a physically impossible idea, an absurdity. Maybe that’s what I hate about it. I hate thinking that all of this is for me, yet knowing that, perhaps, it might not be. I hate that I am both special and forgettable because I am an American. I hate that I live one of the best lives in the world, yet it is still not enough. I hate it here, but I refuse to leave.