Gunshots and irony

A gunshot woke me as 2:12 this morning. One shot, with no screaming before or after, so I'll assume nobody's dead.

Gunshots are nothing unusual in any city, of course. I got used to them last time I lived in the slums, a few blocks from here, a few years ago. Even at my more recent rez hotel in a better part of town, there were shots in the night now and then.

What made last night's shot sorta shocking was that it was right below the window. Sounded like it was five or ten feet from my head — very loud and clear, and if it had been aimed in my direction through these thin walls I guess I'd be dead.

Instead I was asleep again in a few minutes. Heck, it's only a gun going off. Happens all the time. That's life and death in the big city.

♦ ♦ ♦

Fetched the mail yesterday before work, so this morning I'm reading through some of it. There's a new Pasty from Sarah-Katherine, one of my favorite zines and people, and there's a short note from her that I wish was longer. 

There's a new issue of the AVA, again with excerpts from my Pathetic Life. It's nice seeing my words all dolled up in a non-zine publication, but they're still extracting stuff from the January issue, and they've already printed all the good stuff. What they ran this time is nothing I'm proud of, mostly about Carlotta's outrageous flirting at Macy's. Not everything I write is worth reading. You've probably noticed.

And here's yet another letter from another new reader telling me to cheer up, because my life doesn't sound so pathetic to him. After all, it says (paraphrasing), you're not tied down to anyone or any place, you get to do what you want when you want, and that sounds pretty good, blah blah blah.

Yup, sounds pretty good to me, too. I've gotten a dozen letters like that, so let me explain again: The zine's title is something my ex-girlfriend said to me as an insult. She thought my life looked pathetic, so that became the title, but that's her opinion, not mine. When I say it it's a joke.

Whatever the hell my life is, it is what I've made it. It's better than any of the various discarded lives I've left behind. Maybe I should include the full quote in every issue, to make the irony more clear:

"You've got no money, no friends, you live in a slum, you never do anything interesting, and you're too damned fat to have sex. Your life is pathetic."
        —my ex-girlfriend

Emphasis on the ex.

♦ ♦ ♦

Oh! Here's a longer letter from Sarah-Katherine, and it's sweet… but also personal, so I'm keeping it to myself.

From Pathetic Life #10
Sunday, March 19, 1995

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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  1. Unrelated : Doug, I found the subreddit /r/otr - old time radio related. Just FYI.


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