Nothing happened.

One shitty day in high school, I was taunted for having dried white scuz around my neck. That morning I hadn’t quite rinsed all the shampoo out of my hair, so the kids called me cum-neck, and I ran to the boys’ room and got my shirt all wet rinsing the back of my head.

Ever since, it’s been a compulsion to triple-rinse my hair when I shower. I spend more shower-time rinsing than shampooing. Other than that phobia, though, I don’t much care about my appearance.

Why should I care? I look like what I am — a fat guy with a crew-cut and a scraggly beard, wearing Salvation Army clothes and ratty shoes with holes at the bottom. A stylish haircut won’t get me a better job or get me laid. There’s no dried white scuz around my neck, and that's my maximum effort in personal grooming.

I don't even comb my hair. I have a crew-cut. When it looks like it needs to be combed, I plug in the electric clippers and shorten the crew-cut.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have nothing to tell you about Wednesday, October 19, 1994. Very nearly nothing happened. The above is filler. The below is filler. The whole zine is filler, ain’t it? Send $3 for the next filler-filled issue!

♦ ♦ ♦

Darla pulled Kallie and I aside this afternoon, told us her father’s had a stroke, and asked us to keep things running smoothly while she’s gone. No telling how long she'll be gone, she said. Might be just today. Might be a week. Of course, I hope her father recovers, and I clumsily said something like that because even a schlump like me knows that's what you're supposed to say.

Also, yeah, we’ll keep things running smoothly. That’s what we do. Does Darla imagine that she’s the one keeping things running smoothly?

♦ ♦ ♦

Mom called again, said “Please call me” and hung up. I called her back, and told her answering machine — again — that I can’t afford to keep calling if we’re not connecting. $1.40 every day adds up. “Please, whatever you want to tell me, tell my machine. Me and my machine have no secrets.”

Cripes, I have lost track of how many messages we’ve exchanged in the last week, while Mom refuses to tell my machine what’s going on. I’m tired of putting quarters into a phone booth to call her back, tired of writing about it, and damned tired of hearing the computerized voice say, “You have — one — new message,” and knowing the message is Mom saying again, “Please call me.”

From Pathetic Life #5
Wednesday, October 19, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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