Category Archives: feeling sorry for myself

The Creature I Have Become

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I identify as a humorist, writer, cartoonist, and certified fool (Yes, I have a certificate from the Children’s Writer Institute that proves I once foolishly believed I could learn how to make money as a writer).  But my current novel project is a horror novel, The Baby Werewolf, which I twice before tried to turn into a completed rough draft novel. This time I mean to follow through to the bitter end.

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Torrie Brownfield, hypertrichosis sufferer and possible werewolf.

In order to reign in the goofiness enough to deal with the issues in this novel I have been doing a lot of horror reading. I have also undertaken the reading of a very good author examination of the life of Edgar Allen Poe.

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Poe’s life was highly instructive.  You may not have realized this, but most of the giants of American Literature prior to and contemporary with Poe did not make most of their money as writers.  Emerson was a clergyman.  Nathaniel Hawthorne worked as a customs clerk. Poe, the first to try to make a living solely on work as a writer, editor, critic, and poet, was subjected to the horrors of poverty, illness, and want.  His wife was chronically tubercular and ill.  He never made the money he was obviously worth as a creator of popular horror fiction, poetry, critical essays about other authors, and as an editor for profitable magazines of the day.  Other people made loads of money from his work.  Poe, not so much.

It is instructive to a writer like me who can’t seem to land any sort of income from my own creations.  There is no demand because there is no recognition of my work.  I have come close, having my work praised by editors and fellow authors, and being a finalist in novel writing contests twice.  The goal is good writing.  I will probably never see a return on my investment in my lifetime.  My children may not acquire anything by it unless one of them really devotes a lot of effort to it.  Like Poe with his drinking problem, chronic depression, and ill wife, I face physical limitations and poor health, grinding financial issues, and family factors that make it near impossible to put marketing effort into my literary career.

And this novel is a hard journey for me.  I was sexually assaulted by an older boy when I was ten.  A lot of the fears outlined and elucidated in this particular story leap right out of that iron cage in my psyche where they have been contained for fifty years.  Fear of nakedness.  Fear of sex.  Fear of being attacked.  Fear of the secret motivations in others.  Fear of the dark.  And, most of all, fear of what fear can make me become.  Fear of being a monster.

But I have not become any of the dark and terrible things that fear can make me into.  Instead I became a school teacher, mentor to many.  I became a family man, father of three children.  I became a nudist, hopefully not a dark and terrible thing in itself.  I became Mickey.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, horror writing, humor, monsters, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, writing

Mickey at Sixty, Part Two

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As often happens with doddering old doofuses, you can easily reach 500 words and have to stop for the day even though you are still not through with saying all the stupid stuff you have on your doddering old doofus mind.  So that’s when you get a part two the next day.

Things have happened to me in the middle of the year following the sixtieth anniversary of the blizzard I was born during in 1956 that I still haven’t talked about during this Mickey at Sixty topic.

I am, after all, a survivor, about to pass birthday number 61, the year beyond which Robin Williams never made it.  I have always said that if the old saying, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” is actually true, then I must be Superman by now.  I am now in my third year of not being able to afford the medicine the doctor thinks I should be taking daily.  I have had arthritis for 42 years.  I have been a diabetic for 17 years.  I have been a cancer survivor since 1983.  By all rights, I should be long dead by now.  How God ever made that mistake, I will never know.  Surely it was an oversight on His part.  “What? Mickey is still alive on planet Earth?  How could I let that happen?  Oh, well, maybe we give him one more year to see how that turns out,” God says, and all the angels agree with him because angels never think for themselves, at least, not after Lucifer, that nutty angel in the red pajamas that always carries around a pitchfork.

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And what am I actually doing with my year of life that I probably wasn’t supposed to have?  Constructive things like becoming a nudist and giving up on wearing clothes.  (Probably not a great idea for someone whose corpus strangioso is so intolerably unsightly to normal people.)  I went to the nudist park in Alvord, Texas one time.  And I liked it.  And I have thought about going back on another weekend, but something always seems to come up and prevent me from following through with the plan.  But it has been remarkably good for my blog.  Apparently having my post Becoming a Nudist appear on clothesfreelife.com refers loads of readers to my WordPress blog.  Who knew that nudists were such avid readers of humor blogs by goofy Mickeys?  They have helped make my blog post Why Do You Think That? Part Four one of my most popular blogs of the year.

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This is also the year of my life in which I was forced to give up on the idea of restoring the swimming pool to life and having it removed, thanks to the bully-boy encouragements of the city pool inspector and the rest of the Nazis down at the City Environmental Services Office.

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Dreams die hard… and expensively… by stages.  It took most of the summer to get it done, but now my swimming pool is no more.

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So now Mickey is a sadder-but-no-wiser Mickey with no more swimming pool.

But Mickey is still Mickey, even at sixty.  He will break out the paper and colored pencils and still do the doings that old doofus Mickey will do, writing a bunch of nonsense, and coloring…20171008_211247 stuff, and doing some of it naked.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, humor, medical issues, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Life By a Roll of the Dice

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These are Warhammer 40,000 Harlequin Warriors I painted myself.

Over the years I have played many role-playing games.  Virtually always I have done so as the game master, the dungeon master, the story-teller behind the action.  Players decide what to do about the story problems I represent to them.  They have characters that have painstakingly advanced in skills and levels of skills to use for the problem-solving the plot centers around.  But ultimately, when they take action, the outcomes are decided by a roll of the dice.

Life is like that.  You labor hard to control what happens next in your life.  But random chance intervenes.  If you are the Harlequin Space Elf known as Smiley Creaturefeature (the masked elf in the green robe on the front row, far left in the picture above) and your band of high level Harlequin War Dancers have come to Checkertown City Square hunting for your hated enemy, Bone-sucker the Space Orc, it is entirely possible when you use your scanner operator skills to find him, you could roll a “1” on the twenty-sided dice.  This would mean failure.  Not merely failure, but failure on a spectacular level.  The scanner would explode, killing your entire squad, yourself included.  And all those weeks of building the character up to level 17 in order to defeat Bone-sucker and his mutant minions, would be lost and become all-for-nothing in the disappointment department.

Of course, a benevolent game master would alter the outcome in some way to keep the story going.  Perhaps the exploding scanner, instead of killing everyone, created a mini worm hole in the fabric of space-time and transported them to a parallel dimension where Bone-sucker is actually the chaotic good hero of Checkertown, and you must now work out an alliance with him to fight his enemies, the other-dimensional versions of you that are actual Evil Smiley Creaturefeature and his band of Evil Harlequin Space Elves.  You must then defeat your evil selves carrying out the evil plot that the game master had originally designed for the villain Bone-sucker to employ before returning to your own original dimension.

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Real life does not work that way.  It works more like you see above.  The lovely, metal-bikini-clad female barbarian of swimming pool repair is faced with the attack of the giant rats of city pool inspection, necessary electrical repair, and limited finances.  You can see, if you look incredibly carefully at the purple twenty-sided dice, that her defensive attack roll is a “2” for catastrophic failure.  Her sword cuts off her own leg and causes personal bankruptcy.  The giant rats roll a lucky “13” on the black twenty-sided dice for successful tooth and claw attacks.  They then go on to eat her and force the pool to be removed from the property, using up all the money the player (who is me, by the way) has left.

No game master steps in to create a more reasonable outcome.  The worst possible outcome is what happens.  That is how real life works.  Roll the dice, and lose your swimming pool.

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Filed under action figures, angry rant, Dungeons and Dragons, feeling sorry for myself, metaphor, photo paffoonies, self pity

Trying to Think of Other Things

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It’s raining today.  Appropriate for the moment when this thing that has consumed my entire summer comes to an end.  Appropriate too for the way the orange-faced king of our country has dominated everything in public life.  As hard as I have worked the last four years to claw my way out of debt, I am now bankrupt.  Everything the king has done and continues to do hurts poor folks like me.  Was George III the insane one?  The narcissist and paranoid schizophrenic?   And if he was, why did we decide after more than 200 years of independence that we needed a corrupt despot in charge again?  We have invited the king back to where he doesn’t really belong.

So what can we focus on today to get our minds out of the mud?

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There’s always sunshine to consider.  The sun will come back.  It is like a law of nature or something.  And, although nothing is ever certain in life, “The sun’ll come out… tomorrow!  Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow… there’ll be sun!”  (That’s from the Broadway musical Annie, in case I wasn’t obvious enough.)

One can always also appreciate a pretty girl.  Is that being inappropriate?  I am a cartoonist and I have been obsessing about drawing pretty cartoon girls.  So maybe that’s what I really mean.  I’ll go with that.  Let’s think about pretty cartoon girls.

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Yes, Emma Watson before Harry Potter wearing Mickey Mouse ears counts as a pretty cartoon girl.

So, if I still can’t get my mind off the mud… what will I do?

Think about Zebras climbing trees maybe?

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Or Millie Bobby Brown starring in season 3 of Stranger Things on Netflix in October?

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But while I’m writing this, I get a call from the pool demolition guy.  The plumbing and the electrical work apparently didn’t pass the city inspector’s inspection.  Now, it’s not only mud time again, I have a fire boiling in my spleen and am tempted to take an ax to city hall.

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Filed under angry rant, battling depression, feeling sorry for myself, grumpiness, surrealism

The Waning of September

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The pool removal has finally begun.  As I write this, I can hear the machinery grinding away at the gunite.  And so, September has almost ended.  It has not been a good time.

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The world has been filled with the fetid orange-faced swamp monster in charge of our nightmare future raging against football players while an Asian nuclear baby Godzilla trades insults and threats of Armageddon with him as the sideshow.  My health has been seriously threatened by chest pains and breathing difficulties made worse by all the stress brought on by my battles with the city over the pool.  How many more years of this can the world actually withstand? How many more can I hold on to life and love and laughter?

But it is not over yet.  I can still write.  I can still laugh.  I can still make goofy WordPress posts with autumn leaves and regal fritillary butterflies to make me feel better.  And I can still put together novels that make stories worth telling.  That is enough for the moment.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Thank God I am Poor

Yes, now that I am bankrupt, I thank the God who made me that he made me poor and saved me from the terrible torture of being rich.

I know that sounds like a joke.  But I am serious.  In this world where you have to be willing to climb over the bodies and crushed hopes and dreams of your fellow human beings in order to be rich, I would prefer to be on the side of the downtrodden with a clean conscience and an empty wallet.

 

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I have a castle of my own, but it isn’t very large.

I am actually a bit miffed after this last week.  The swimming pool that has given me ulcers from significant financial reversals all summer is still not removed.  I keep having to pay more and more.  I had to declare bankruptcy because my credit rating was degrading and all insurance companies and mortgage companies punish that crime by charging you more money.  The city is pushing hard to get the pool removed, but on Friday their city inspector failed to inspect the pool which must happen before the demolition can begin on Monday.  In fact, the inspector never showed his face or called to explain why.  But the city did not fail to contact the bank that holds our mortgage lien to make them reconsider the value of our property and the payments we are required to make.   Chapter 13 bankruptcy doesn’t protect you from such things as that, by the way.  In fact, it doesn’t help protect you from debt.  I still have to repay everything I owe Bank of America and the other credit card banks I owe money to.  The only thing it does do is stop the snowball of finance charges from rolling further down the mountain, and then it reorganizes my finances with outside guidance to guarantee the banks get paid off.  That is because, even though I had to pay lots of money to the lawyer, and will have to pay more before we’re done, taking care of the banks’ needs is the first priority.  So, I am on my own with the city and their demands and their bullying to make certain their demands are met too.  It is probably a good thing that I have decided to become a nudist.  After all, there will be no money left for clothes.

You will have to forgive me for beginning to think dark thoughts about rich people.  One way or another, the wealthy minority are to blame for most of what’s wrong with my life.  Congress right now is trying again with the Graham-Cassidy Bill to make certain that my next health reversal kills me.  It is very important to them that Obamacare is repealed.  And why would that be?  Is is it because Obamacare works because it takes more in taxes away from one per centers, and the Republican-controlled Congress wants to give that all back to the rich folks?  They need the extra millions more than I need to keep living, right?

I am tired of fighting over numbers in bank statements and credit card bills.  I am poor.  I have paid an awful lot of money to get to that point.  I will be satisfied to defend my tiny kingdom to the death as the orcs of wealth-acquisitions overwhelm me.  After all, I have a certain satisfaction with how I have lived my life, and no matter how badly it ends, that satisfaction cannot be taken away from me.

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Filed under angry rant, battling depression, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, grumpiness, photo paffoonies

Fauns

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Fauns originate in Greek mythology as forest spirits, sensual, playful, and infused with the energies of the natural world.  They are followers of Pan, the god of the forest.  They are hedonistic, seeking sexual gratification from nymphs and human girls, loving wine and feasting.  They are not the same things as satyrs, though Roman mythology would come along and squeeze them both into the same mold.

So, why am I, a boy from Iowa of distinctly German ancestry, so fascinated and obsessed by fauns in art and literature?

The answer is both goofy and creepy.  I have a faun of my own.  He lives with me as an invisible friend.  His name is Radasha.  He is Harvey to my Elwood.  (That’s a Jimmy Stewart movie reference if the twists and turns of my mind confuse you.)  Just like the fauns of mythology when confronted with travelers and wanderers, he sometimes helps with guidance and advice, and he sometimes does me mischief with ridicule and wicked tricks.

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My theory for why my convoluted psyche has need of invisible companions goes back to the fact that I was sexually assaulted when I was ten.  That is why Ra is basically a ten-year-old boy with the legs, tail, and horns of a goat.  He is the sexual/sensual part of me that got split off from my inner self by that traumatizing event.

Being a child-victim can do terrible things to a boy.  It seriously interfered with my blossoming interest in girls.  It turned me from an inventive, out-going leader of the gang into a quiet and somewhat timid introvert.  I repressed the memory of the actual event, more of a torture-situation than seduction, so that the real psychological damage of it occurred at the subconscious level.  I began to worry that I might be gay.  I began to seriously loathe myself and my own body.  I went so far as to burn myself on my lower back by lying against the furnace grate in order to repress desires I felt were evil.’

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Radasha showed up at my bedroom window late one snowy night when I was about seventeen years old.  He began talking at me, making fun of me for being terrified of girls, and encouraging me to risk being naked more.  He wanted me to enjoy the idea of sex more and shy away from it less.  In some ways, he kept that part of me alive.

Of course, I made myself familiar with the mythological creature Radasha obviously was.  I read everything I could about it.  I even acquired a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun and read it with great fascination even though the prose was dense and archaic.  I realized that I wasn’t alone in using fauns as an artistic expression of the repressed sensuality that constantly consumed me.  Ra was there to needle me and encourage me, to lead me to learn how to better like myself.

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I know by now most readers will have given up on this post already, put off by bizarre self-analysis of my rather atypical case of abnormal psychology.  But being naked more is apparently part of faun-therapy.  At Ra’s insistence, I am making myself more psychologically and metaphorically naked by revealing these things here in a blog that mostly nobody reads anyway.  And naked fauns in my artwork are a definite thing that merits exploration.  So if you have actually read this far through this mythological mold spore of an essay, you now know about as much about me as I know about myself.  And you will probably do just as I do.  You will shake your head and continue to wonder how any one old guy can be quite so weird.

 

 

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