If anyone was going to offer up their night-time habits for unpicking by the entire internet, it was going to be Elon Musk. The man’s narcissism knows no bounds. On Monday (28 November), he shared to Twitter a photograph of his bedside table, on which reside no fewer than two guns, four open cans of caffeine-free Coca-Cola, a painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River, and an ancient weapon. Just typical billionaire stuff, I suppose.
What is Musk trying to tell us with this photo? Maybe he thinks drinking copious amounts of aspartame-riddled fizzy drinks is the epitome of an aspirational lifestyle. Maybe he thinks sleeping with a mini arsenal by his head makes him look tough. After all, what’s harder than being within arm’s reach of a gun in case some imaginary intruder somehow makes it into your fortress of solitude?
Either way, he’s not fooling anyone. It screams: “Please, I’m so lonely. Pay attention to me.” Well, if attention’s what you want…
Here’s why I think Musk’s nightstand is more of a cry for company than a powerful display of machismo. First of all, let us take a closer look at the guns, which experts say are likely not even real. According to the bullet-brained lifestyle brand Free Range American – which covers stories that “inspire the American dream” – the black revolver is a mere toy. It is apparently a non-working Diamondback .357 revolver, a “fictional futuristic weapon” that features in video games. Talk about a dud.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the other piece of ammunition on the table is an antique pistol, which Musk should be able to easily afford being the richest man in the world. But no. It appears to be a replica flintlock pistol, usually used as a non-firing display piece, that costs less than $100 (£83). As for the box with the display of the first US president during the American Revolutionary War – well, that’s probably an inexpensive replica too.
However, Musk does seem to have at least one genuine weapon to keep him company in his slumber. He appears to have, just casually, a vajra on his nightstand. A vajra is a small metal club described as the weapon of the Hindu god Indra. Why does Musk have this? Maybe he uses it as a paperweight. Or he fiddles with it when he’s bored of burning Twitter to the ground. Whatever the reason, I blame Grimes.
Musk’s sad little bedside collection seems symbolic of a lost, lonely man. Guns that don’t work. A random antique. A Coca-Cola addiction. It’s a jumble of confusing objects that don’t even seem to belong to a real person. It’s like he input some odd words into one of those AI image generators and decided it represented him. The only proof that a real person lives there is the overlapping cup rings on the surface of the table. Finally! The sign of a true bachelor’s pad.