Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Beginning, The End, The Beginning

This is the last post-mortem introspection for me.  It's time to rise.

I'm no good at living.  I always fuck it up.

I exist.  I'm great at that.  I survive, too.  I'll survive shit that will kill most people.

But living?  I'm not good at that.  I'd like to be, though.  I really do.  I want to live.  I want to experience things others experience and I want to stop feeling like some ghoul in a cave.

So this month, because I wanted to begin 2017 on the best footing possible, I tried living.  As the month winds down, I can say that I really made a huge mess of it all, and I'm left wondering just what in the hell is next.

I got a new job that started in the beginning of the month.

I've been eating better and doing some light exercise.  I mean, the best I can do, because I'm pretty far gone.  My knees are about shot after years of not exercising and carrying all of this weight.

I've been weening myself off various substances.  That's been the hardest part.  I'm sick all the time from it but if I went cold turkey, I'd be in worse shape.  The last time that happened I had seizures.

I made a connection with someone.  And I totally destroyed it.

This month has been rough.  And honestly with the changes I'm making it just feels like I'm no longer me.  It's like I'm somebody else.

Well, not really.  Not really a person.  Not in the sense that I'm somebody.  I feel more like a meat suit that is sentient enough to breathe and eat, but the rest is just beyond my reach.

This reminds me of a conversation I had about a dozen years ago.  A guy and myself were chatting about somebody we both knew.  I despised him for being a slimy, evil bastard.  But Tim didn't.

"Aw, he's okay," said Tim.  "Once you separate him from the arrogance."
"Yeah," I said.  "But Tim, you can't do that.  It's who he is.  If we separated you from the fuck-up there would be nothing left."  

That was a mean thing to say but accurate.  Tim really was a fuck-up.

But what am I?  And what's left of me as I make these changes in my life?

Tonight, I finished edits on my novella, Scruffles n' Me.  It's a special story for me and deeply personal.  It's a story about redemption.  I feel like I'm constantly scrambling for redemption.  I feel like I've done nothing right in over a decade.

To make things even more complicated, I am filled with a weird sense of optimism, because I know I'm on the right path.  I know if I keep doing what I'm doing, things will improve in my life.  Well, some things will improve.

What do I mean?

My health will improve.  I will be less likely to drop dead of a stroke or heart attack in the next few months.  My kidneys and liver will be less likely to shut down due to all the crap I've consumed.  Also, I will be able to walk for greater distances and do more things.

Plus, I will have a little more money to spend.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, I will have a successful Youtube channel with subscribers and followers.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, I will have people sharing the links to my videos, and people will find those videos helpful.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, I might actually get sponsors.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'll have more fiction published.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'll eventually get published in a pro-rated publication, and I'll get paid like a professional.

If I keep doing what I'm doing, all kinds of good things will happen for me.  But there is one thing not in that list and that's what bugs me the most.

Happiness is meaningless without having somebody to share it with.  And I fuck things up every goddamned time.  Two years ago, it was a friend.  I was comfortable with her and that was the worst thing that could have happened.  She knew how much of a train wreck I was and she shot me down right away.  It hurt like hell for a long time.

The problem, (as if there was just one) is that I don't feel comfortable very often.  Most women, to me, seem totally foreign and frightening.  Aggressive and carnivorous.  Mean-spirited, vicious, and angry.

So no, I don't feel comfortable with very many women.  Not beyond cursory chit-chat.  And very few get beyond that point with me.

But I'm done with the post-mortem on these failed moments.  I can't keep kicking myself and flogging myself and cutting myself because I fucked up something wonderful.  I have to let this all go no matter how much it bothers me.

I wish they made razor blades specially designed to cut out of defective parts of me.  All of those broken pieces and parts that cause malfunctions could then be removed in some bloody mass and put into a medical waste bucket to be incinerated.

If I keep doing what I'm doing it still won't fix whatever the fuck is broken inside of me.  And I don't even know where to start hacking with the blades anyways.  It'll be a bloody affair, but these things always are, and as long as nobody asks me too many questions I'll be fine.

Right now, at this moment of my life, I have a brighter future than at any other moment in my past.  It's all meaningless to me because the one thing I have constantly craved since as far back as I can remember is still denied to me.  It doesn't matter how many times I rise from my own ashes, I'm still by myself in the sky, so what's the point?

People forget--the phoenix doesn't mate.  It doesn't need to reproduce because it never dies.  Not really.  It burns up and rises back from the dead into life once again.  But it's alone.

It seems like I'm always close to death in some way or another.  It's as if he's a friend who comes around to have a beer with me once in a while.  We keep each other company.  It's all part of the cycle.

I used to say I was sick of this cycle of death and rebirth within the confines of my own life but truth be told, in recent years, I've been gaining ground.  I know this isn't a football game but I am slowly moving forward with each destruction.  And I'm getting better at the rebirth part.  I'm getting so much better at taking the hits and moving on to the next disaster.  Growth.

As I've said before, this life cycle for me is about figuring out who in the hell I am without having that identity connected to somebody else.  I am not somebody's this or that.  I am me.  I am me, standing on my own, without being attached somebody to another person's identity.

I am not one-half of anything.  I am a whole of something and I am somebody.  I just don't have a fucking clue who that somebody is right now.  But I'm working on it.

I'm 45 years old and I am just now figuring out who in the hell I am and what I'm about.  I'm just now finding strength I never thought possible and I'm just now learning I can really do things that are cool.  I had no idea I was capable of such things.

But is all of this self-discovery worth it?  Is any of this worth it?  Why bother building a house you'll never live in or cook a meal you'll never eat?  But that's short-game thinking and I'm not here for that.
I have to keep remembering that this lifetime isn't about what happens in this lifetime or even for this life.  This lifetime is simply another trip around the block so that the rewards reaped by my soul carry on into the next world and into the next lives.  And I have somebody waiting for me.  Somebody is counting on me to get it right so I can stop this bullshit and we can be together again.

Monday, January 23, 2017

How Do I Do Healthy?

This whole Healthy Living crap is nuts!  It's confusing.  I don't have a clue what I'm doing so I had to look it up online.  And as we all know, if it's on the internet, it's the truth.

I was going to do some fad diet.  I've never gone on a fad diet and I feel like I'm missing out on something.  You know, like eating grapefruit during full moons while naked, and drinking chicken-brain smoothies with wheat grass.  Some lady in Los Angeles swears by that one.

I'm trying to live a healthier life and it's as foreign to me as learning Russian.  I've never taken care of myself. Why bother?  So, I ate what I wanted and sat in front of my computer.  Because I'm such a recluse, I never went anywhere.  I was always too broke anyways.  Plus, I just didn't care.

Why bother?  I'm a Red Shirt.  We all know how this is going to end anyways.  And besides, I was aiming for the Elvis Death--fat guy dead on a toilet.  Pow!

My friends changed my mind.  They were on me pretty hard, too, because they wanted me to make changes in my life.  Radical changes, too.  Like, how this final season of the TV show Grimm is more like Three's Company than a procedural cop drama with monsters.  Seriously.  They have people hiding in closets so Mr. Furley doesn't catch them stealing his hair.  I feel like they killed this show in the board room so the writers decided, "Meh, fuck it!  Let's spill something on Nick's head at the end of every episode."

But yeah, my friends--good people.  I'm sure they mean well.  It's not like they sit around and think to themselves, "Ted's really miserable.  We should convince him to live longer and really rub salt in the wounds."

This weekend, I bought some healthy food, which really just translates to real food and not processed crap or something dipped in chocolate or with "extra bacon" slapped on the side of the box.

It's hard to eat healthy, though, when you have a freezer full of ice cream you made.  And you have a Youtube channel called Ice Cream Every Day.  And your motto is, "If you're not eating ice cream for breakfast, then what's the point of being an adult?"

I've been meditating, too.  I used to meditate regularly but that was a long time ago.  I'm getting back into it and this time, I'm not focusing on giving people eye gonorrhea and explosive shits.  Instead of letting the hatred flow through me, I'm not focusing on the hatred at all, and clearing my mind.  That's not easy but will come with practice.

When you first start clearing your mind, the peace you seek is totally foreign to you in the same way healthy living is to me.   But like anything else, it'll come along, and I'll be able to shut off my brain for a bit.  Or at least get it down to one voice.

It's all about replacing the old unhealthy habits with healthy new ones.  I'm not going to say "erase" because I've been erased before.  It sucks.

I've been replaced, too, for that matter.  Being replaced sucks just as much.  But we're all replaceable to somebody.  Right now, somebody is thinking about replacing you with somebody else.

I've been replaced.  Every time it hurts.  It doesn't matter what the reason is, it hurts.  Period.  And knowing that in some facet of my life somebody is looking at replacing me doesn't make me feel any better.

It's probably work.  Everybody else in my life that was going to do it has already done it or decided it wasn't worth it.  

But think about it.  Maybe your dog is wondering if the nice lady across the street gives out better treats than you.  Maybe your car is thinking somebody else is easier on the motor than you.

I've been replaced a lot in my life.  My mom replaced me once.  She married a guy with kids who didn't have a ton of issues like my sister and I had, and it was just easier for her.  She gave my stuff to them and that was it.  I mean, she gave my fishing tackle to them.  My furniture from my childhood. Pretty much everything but for a few knick-knacks.  I was gone and done.

We've mended some of the fences but I'm still hurt by it.

I'm no unicorn.  And the people I feel closest to are usually the ones who replace me the quickest.  I'm not nearly as special as I'd like to think.

But knowing that I'm not that special means I can make changes in my life just as easily, too.  Because after all, if people can dump me in the garbage, then I can certainly dump certain unhealthy aspects of my life in the same garbage as well, right?

I wonder if my bad habits will miss me?  I wonder if I'll miss them?  Is that why people slip and go back to bacon cheeseburgers in the middle of their diet?  "I missed you so much!"

As an expendable Red Shirt, changing my patterns to healthy ones hasn't been all that easy, because I just figured I'd be blown up or something.  You know we don't live long.  But knowing that I'm stuck here while I heal whatever needs to be healed means I need to at least make the attempt to stick around.

Anyways, it's about time for me to get something dumped on my head while I look into the camera with an "I can never win" look on my face.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Self-Talk Without the Psychosis

Hey Kid,

By now you've had a chance to catch your breath and look around a bit.  You've looked at your history and made certain to write down a long list of each and every failure you've ever had just so you can beat yourself up over it.  Nice.

Your dad would be proud of you.  The self-hatred he drilled into you over and over again has served you well.  Remember those little writing assignments he used to give you?  Where you had to write down why you were bad even though you didn't do anything wrong?  He wouldn't let you go until you wrote an essay about Why Ted Sucked.  I mean, what eight year-old doesn't deserve that?  None, of course, but only the worse--like you.

He hated you and made sure you hated you, too.

But haven't you had enough?  I mean, really.  That's your default mode--I get it.  Shit goes bad and you self-destruct with a thoroughness that would make an accountant proud.

But Mea Culpa is only good when you're out of options.

What if you took that long list of yours and burned it?  Just burned it and pissed on the ashes?  Or better yet, made a list of all the times you were in somebody's crosshairs?  Why?  Because you're still here, buddy.  You're still here.

You seem think that because your head got held under water while you struggled to lift it, fighting the hand on the back of your head, until you realized that was it and you were going to die--just because that happened you somehow deserved it.  She said you did, but you know you didn't.  What could you have possibly done to deserve that?  No four year-old deserves that.  You weren't safe with anybody.

But no, you didn't deserve it.  Yet you try to justify bad things as if you somehow deserve them.  And I'm here to tell you this--you don't.  You never did.

You didn't deserve to have your family ripped away from you.

You didn't deserve to have your business partner go to prison.

You didn't deserve to have your apartment get destroyed by a fire in the upstairs apartment.

You didn't deserve to have the frame of your car snap off the motor mounts.

These things that have happened to you aren't because you deserve them.  You keep blaming shit on your past lives and invisible wrong-doings but the truth is far different.

And I'm sure you've come to realize by now the Gods aren't going to let you out of here that easily.  Chest pains, legs twice their normal size, headaches--you're not going to get out of here like that.  They won't let you.  You're stuck.

And let's get something out of the way right now.  You seem to think a certain soulmate is waiting for you.  That when the final minute comes and your heart stops, she'll magically appear to take you over to the other side where the two of you will go back to being happy together.

Well, she's not.  How do I know this?  Because.

What have you done to grow beyond your origins?  What have you done to heal?  What have you done to cast off the chains and shackles of your past?

Nothing!  You dove into substances to help you pretend they aren't there.  But that's all you've done.

And why do you think you're here without her?  Hmm?  She's your soulmate, after all.  Why would you be here without her?  Why would you even contemplate living such a wretched existence without having her here with you?  All of your life you have felt her absence as if it were a piece of your own soul that has been cleaved off and torn away.  At times, it's been almost unbearable.

You're here to grow.  You're here to move above and beyond your origins.  And most importantly--you're here to be You.  You are not one half of a symbiotic relationship.

Think back to those past trips around the block with her.  You were her "attack bear" in one.  You were her rescuer in another.  Your entire being was defined by what you did for her.  You weren't you, you were "the guy who served her."  You had no identity without her.  And sure, you were happy, but that's an incredibly unhealthy way to live.  Anybody will tell you that.

You are here to be you.  You are here to find yourself.  Find out who Ted is and what he's about.  You are here to flourish.  Those are the rules that were set down for this trip around the block.

Sure, it's a lonely proposition.  But isolation and solitude are needed when trying to find yourself and who you are.  Because right now, you don't have a clue, do you?  You completely lack the ability to define yourself.

Here's an exercise for you:  Let's say somebody is building a carbon copy of you for a holodeck in Star Trek.  You are assigned the task of creating this HoloTed for a program.  But, you can't use any copy/paste tools.  You have to describe yourself with enough precision and detail to make a Ted for others to interact with.

Can you do it?

Right now, no.  Not in your present condition and mindset.  Right now that is something totally foreign to you.

You lost yourself somewhere in one of those trips around the block with her.  You lost who you were and why she loved you so much in the first place.  And you're here to find him again.  You're task with this trip around the block is to find you and be you.

So no, nobody is going to be with you this time around.  That would just give you a chance to go back to old habits anyways.  If you don't believe me--look at how you behaved with other women.  You would do whatever they wanted because that was the only thing that made you happy.  It was like you were a servant to them instead of a partner.  All you wanted to do was sit at their feet, looked up at them adoringly, and do whatever their whim commanded.

You defined your happiness by what you could do for them.  Tell me that's healthy!  I dare you!

It's time to heal and figure this shit out.  You're running out of time.  The Powers That Be are only going to keep you here for so long before they allow the reality of your health to catch up to you.  Your blood pressure and legs are really bad.  You have to stop sleeping in your chair so much.  You are going to get weep holes in your legs again and this time, they won't heal.  And you'll end up having a stroke like your grandfather.   You have to pull up and out of this flat spin you're in.

Yes, it's not going to be easy at all.  And yes, it's a lot you need to do at one time and immediately.  But that's because you waited until the 11th hour.

I can't do this for you.  You have to do it yourself.  And you have to do it now.  Not tomorrow.  Now.  This can't wait.  Get up after posting this.  Do some more of those stretches and yoga-like calisthenics.  Get the blood flowing before you log-in at work.

And remember--you need to do this yourself and without the company of those you seek and crave.  Sorry, but they only get in the way of things.  You just don't react right with them anyways.  Your soul is so used to being with your soulmate that even in this trip around the block, if women don't act like her you get upset.

Besides, let's be completely honest here--could any woman you've met hold a candle to her?  She would destroy those women.  She'd rip their hearts out, look back at you with that crazy grin, and take a bite out right in front of them.  These women you meet are nice and all, but they ain't her.  Not by a long shot.

The correctional measures that have kept you in a position to help yourself can't last forever.  The Powers That Be can't leave the bumpers out for too much longer.  You can call it Fate, but it's more of a push, or a corral to keep you in position.  Once it becomes obvious to everybody else that they're involved to this level, things will have to change.

So get going.  Keep yourself alive long enough to find out who you are what you are made of so you can be a whole person.  You can do this.  I'm pretty sure that once it happens, you'll be done, and they'll get you out of here.  I mean, would you rather be here or with her?  That's what I thought.  And I'm sure misses you, too.

No more talk--it's time to rock.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Need a Map

"It's not down on any map.  True places never are."  

I'm easily confused.  I'll admit this.  I'm an emotional guy and I live inside my head way too much.  Sometimes I can get out of my head when I do things like make ice cream.  This weekend I've made six batches of ice cream and I shudder to think how messed up I'd be without having that as a diversion.

I never claimed mental stability.  You read enough of these blog posts and you'll see that right away.  But I'm working on it.

I'll admit I went off the rails this last week.  It was ugly.  I'd like to say I'm all better but I'm far from it.  Many of you have reached out to me to check on me and I appreciate it.  I'm sorry I worried you guys.  I didn't mean to.

In my defense, I screwed up a lot in recent days, and that was just one of many screw-ups.

Earlier today, I met up with a friend of mine to exchange some goodies, and we had a chance to talk.  He's had a rough road in the last few years.  It's a road I'd never want to walk myself and I don't know where he finds the courage and strength to keep his feet moving like that.  He is an inspiration.
If it were me, I wouldn't even come close to being able to fight like him, and I'd just be done.  It would be the perfect excuse for me to give up.

But he hasn't.  He's fought.

I told him what happened and what I did.  I told him how badly I screwed up.  He said something to me.

"We're all broken in some way.  More than some, less than others.  But we're all broken."

Back in September, I began to make changes in my life.  I started the process of confronting the more painful things from my past.  I began addressing and letting go of my guilt and anguish over losing my daughter.  Plus, I began opening up about something dark that happened to me as a child. In discussing this with a family member, I received validation I never knew I craved and needed.  Simply being told, "I believe you," was light a bolt of hot lightning that chased away a lot of darkness inside of my soul.

By November, I was feeling a happiness I'd never thought possible.  Guilt and shame, so destructive to a soul, began to fade away.  I stopped feeling dirty and undeserving of happiness.  I didn't beat myself up nearly as much.

And then my friends stepped in.  They convinced me to start a Go Fund Me project so I could get a decent camera for my Youtube channel, Ice Cream Every Day.  Within six days, all of the money was raised.  I was humble and grateful.   I never knew so many people cared about me.  I never realized how many people saw me as human being and noticed how badly I had been struggling just to stay alive.  And I never knew how many people saw I was on the edge and worried about me.

I began to feel horrible I caused so many people to worry about me.

And then I destroyed a wonderful relationship with a friend because of a hundred reasons that boil down to me being in far worse shape than I was willing to admit.  I feel like a damaged aircraft that just can't keep in the air.  I feel like I've taken so many shots I now have structural damage and I'm not airworthy.

About 8 or 9 years ago, I had to made a choice.  I stopped caring about a lot of things because caring hurt too much.  I was alone and it was killing me.  So I gave up.  Up until that point, every choice I'd made was wrong.  Everything I tried failed.  Ever path led me to nowhere.  People close to me wondered what I did to piss off the gods so badly to carry such a powerful curse.

I decided that it wasn't worth the effort of trying to improve things because I would have it blocked or taken away from me.  Again.  I made the choice to hang around until I died.

For years, I never had a reason to want to change that.  I accepted an early out.  I ate whatever I wanted, was lazy, and I indulged in bad habits without worry.  I did things I had never done before because I no longer cared about the consequences.

And I waited for death.

I had simply figured that everything would keep failing and I deserved it for what I had done.  I thought it was all my fault.

And then a series of events took place.  Something from my childhood I buried deep suddenly was in my face and I had to deal with it.  It was so bad, I thought I was losing my mind.

I worked on the bare minimum and gave the least amount of effort I could get away with.  I was going to die soon and it didn't matter.  My blood pressure was dangerously high and strokes run in my family.  I began eating more fried foods and drinking more Mt. Dew.  And drinking.  And drugs.

One night I had terrible chest pains.  I smiled and looked up at the ceiling.  It was finally done.

But that passed.  I'm still here.  And the improvements I've made in my life make me wonder about things.  Is it worth it to be here?  Is it worth it to even try?  I've lost so much already.  And I'm so broken, even when something good comes, and has my name written all over it, there's a very good chance I'll just fuck it up like I do everything else.

If you've read my posts here, you'll know I often put my life in the perspective of a mythological story to be told to around a campfire.  When I do that, it's shameful and embarrassing.  Failure and failure, poor choices, and giving up.  How could any woman love a man like that?

My friends practically scream at me to get up and be me, because Ted is awesome, and Ted can do anything.  And I let them down every day.

I wish I saw myself the way others did.  I wish I had the faith in me everybody else has.

The very fact that I'm at this crossroad is an improvement and the whole reason I'm here is because somebody gave me a sliver of hope.  Somebody gave me something I hadn't had in a decade.  And the brightness of that hope sent me into a fit.  I had no idea how to react.  All I knew was I wanted more so I lost my shit, freaked out, and did everything possible to influence things to go my way.  In doing so, I destroyed a great relationship, and shined a spotlight on just how bad of shape I'm in.  

So now I need to make a choice.  Hope is an incredibly painful thing.  And nothing has ever worked out for me in the past.  I have no faith in things changing.  I can change all I want.  I can drop weight, get healthy, kick the bad habits, write the best I'm capable of, and there is little chance I will be anything more than what I am now.

That might work for others, but it has never worked for me.  Ever.  And I could put in thousands of hours of hard work only to still be the same unloveable loner nobody wants who dies alone.  The futility of that is heartbreaking.

I'm going to end this here.  It's not a question mark.  It's not up in the air.  I'm gong to move forward.  I'm going to edit my novella so I can submit it by the end of January.  And I'm going to deal with the various issues that need attention.  But I have no faith or hope that it will pay off.  I'm doing it because so many people say I should.  History says it's a stupid idea but my friends aren't stupid.  My friends are smart and they know me.

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm doing it.  Let the consequences come.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sharts of the Heart

Every try to say something romantic and have it come out so garbled it sounds like the creepy mumblings of an axe murderer pleading with the voices in his head?

That pretty much happens to me every time I want to be flirty.  I'm just no good at it.  You would think, as a writer, I would have these amazing pick-up lines at my disposal.  You would think I have these incredible phrases so powerful a woman's panties would disappear.

You would be wrong.

No, often what I say either sounds like it comes from Buffalo Bill while as he sharpens his blades or so pathetically emo it would make Percy Shelly seem masculine.


Even when I compliment a woman, it always seems like I'm asking her to rub lotion on her skin.

Normally I accept this as a simple fact of being me.  I'm going to fumble and bumble and really not look very good in the end.  It's okay, that's life.

But there's this woman....

How often have you read that one, dear reader?  Hmm?  How often have I said there's this woman in my life?

None.  Because I've never met one who merited this much attention.  Until now, that is.

There's this woman...

And no, I'm not ripping my hair out and carving her name into my arm with a razor blade while composing poetry that compares her to religious figures.  I'm sure she would love the gesture, though. And truthfully, what woman wouldn't?  Supposedly one of the greatest gifts of love in history was the head of John the Baptist.  I wonder if she'll ask me for somebody's head?  Would she, too, want it on a silver platter?    (Please excuse the plot bunny running across the page.  He'll be dealt with soon enough.)

But she's prominent in my thoughts and I often find things in my day I wish to experience with her.  I hear music and wonder if she'll like it, too.  I find myself wishing she and I were at some of the live shows I'd seen in the past, her standing in front of me, leaning into my chest, my arms wrapped around her front, swaying together.  Papa would totally approve of this.

But before any of that can happen, I'll need to be able to communicate without sounding like I'm nervous about what I have hidden in the back of my van.  Or worse, use language that leads her to believe I'm parked outside of her house, but down the block a ways, with a pair of binoculars.

I'm not good at lighthearted flirting.  For some reason, the switches in my brain are stuck on two settings.  Cold and uncaring, or Thermonuclear Suicidal Love.

You know what Thermonuclear Suicidal Love (TSL) is, right?  It's when she's afraid you're so in love with her that skinning yourself with a rusty tuna can while standing naked in her front yard at 3AM is a reasonable show of affection.  And let me tell you, it would be totally romantic, too, because I'd be reciting Hither, Hither, Love by Keats while I did it.  Very classy.

But no, TSL is only right for a few, select situations.  And right now, we're just not there.

Yet, anyways.

No, right now, I just enjoy hearing what she has to say.  I enjoy hearing her opinions on art, or seeing pictures of her works, since she's highly talented and creative herself.  I often find myself cooking and wondering if she'd like what I just baked, or if she'd enjoy the television show I'm watching.

She's important to me and I don't want to scare this one off.  I try not to sound needy.  You know, like a Victorian-period street urchin covered in coal dust with his wood cap in his hands saying, "Please, ma'am?  Could ya find it in yer 'eart for a few moments wiff this sorry lad?"

And what if she did give me some of her time?  What then?  I'd have to be on my best behavior and not say much.  No comments about selling body parts or conjuring demons.  No beginning sentences with, "The first time I disemboweled a guy..."  

You know, it might be best to just pretend I'm somebody else.  What would somebody normal do around a woman?  The next time I venture out, I should bring a notepad and make notes about what a normal guy does around women.  You know, gather intel, and then practice in front of my mirror while doing my little kookie dance.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this.  I do that sometimes.  It's just that I know how nuts I am and I really don't want to screw this one up.  I like her a lot.  She's important.  And I know me--I'm a great kamikaze pilot.  I've always been too much and not enough and right now I'm neither to a person I really like and it freaks me out.

So there's this woman...

And I'm promising myself to keep the neuroses under wraps and just chill.  I'm listening to the music I cranked up in high school and smiling a lot more.  I'm sending short stories out and editing a novella to submit by the end of this month.  I'm told I've got another story getting published by either the end of January or early February.  And this week I started a new job.

Life is good for me right now.  It was good before I met her and after it just got better.  I want her to be at the victory party with me.  I want to experience this with her at my side because anything this good loses meaning if not shared.  Things will progress as Fate allows.  But until then, I'll keep things under wraps and let her go on believing I'm moderately sane, and the quirky things I say are just the poorly-worded romantic overtures of a socially awkward guy and not the voices in my head fighting for a turn at the mic.    

Monday, January 2, 2017

Read Me!

I had a short story published in an anthology recently.

Now is the time for political horror.  We're all so busy pontificating our beliefs, as if anybody cares, so why not write more fiction about it?

Dread State.  It has some awesome talent and me!  How a nobody like me creeped into it is beyond me and I'm deeply honored and grateful.

I'm really proud of this one.  To be in the company of such great writers is an honor.  Like I said, I'm the nobody of the group.

I hope you get chance to pick this up and check it out.  There's some really good work in this anthology.