Saturday, November 28, 2009

For Dave

I found out earlier this week that an old friend of the family had died. For various and sundry reasons that are none of your damn business, I haven’t seen or talked to him in at least a decade. I would’ve thought that, given the lack of contact, this news would be a mild curiosity to me at best. Hell, I knew him mostly as my parents’ drinking buddy. Instead, I’m finding myself incredibly affected.
Then I began to think about it more.

Dave bought me my first bike back when I was seven or eight. It was cobbled together from bits found at the trash dump, rusted all to hell and waaay to big for my size at the time. Just getting onto the damn thing was an accomplishment and pedaling was practically Herculean in scope. But, it was my first bike and I loved the damn thing.

Then there was the Halloween he dressed up as Frankenstein. Already a tall bastard, he nailed a couple inches of wood onto the bottom of his boots to add that nice, clompy gait. He also squared off his head with a nice chunk of putty (sometimes, being bald has it’s advantages). As I said, he was naturally a big guy, but in that getup, he loomed. Yes, there are people out there who have done much more extravagant costumes, but to my young eyes, he was practically a god for that day.
Remember the old Bud Light “Ladies’ Night” commercials, the ones with balding, fat, hairy men dressed up in drag to get cheap beer? He did that at a couple bars, even though he seemed to have an almost preternatural ability to miss each bar’s respective Ladies’ Night. I wish we still had the picture of him and a local radio Sports DJ during one of those outings.

None of this should mean anything to any of you, but his fearlessness in the face of fun, especially given the crap that he put up with over the course of his life, has profoundly effected the way I live mine.

The world is a poorer place without him and I really wish I had picked up on that sometime when it could have mattered more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cheese in the hour of rot.

I’m coming across a bit too self-aggrandizing, given that my last post was about this self-same issue but I’m going to toot my own horn a bit again anyways. Bet you didn’t know I could do that, did you?

Today, my copy of Shroud 7 was waiting for me when I got home from yelling at, and being yelled at by, the screeching, mindless, post-Lovecraftian insanity that we call middle school students. Now, I’ve seen my name in print before, sometimes even without paying for it, but this time is special for some unnamed reason. Maybe it’s because it is in a successful publication this time. Maybe it is just the glossy cover. Maybe I’ve invested much more worth into it than is appropriate. But I’m happy for the moment and everyone I know will get very sick of seeing the damn thing real soon. Then I’ll show it to them once more.

I’ve been stressed out over money, annoyed over the fact that I can’t seem to get off of my ass and push my career farther and way too tired for all of this shit. But for the moment, life is kinda pretty and nice. Now I just need a couple rejection letters for the stuff I intend to send out in January to knock my ass back down to earth.