No real complaints

There will be no mystery about my death: heart attack. It was all that extra flab encircling his weary, overworked heart, the coroner will conclude. He was a fat guy, a blubbered-up, over-eating cellulite-encased lump of human lard. He must've known all those extra packages of junk food generic cherry pie would kill him.

Yeah, I knew it would kill me.

The subject comes up not because I'm pondering suicide, but because the fat makes my heart work so hard. If I just climbed a flight of stairs, and hold my head in an awkward bent-over position, the sound of my heart beating is loud like distant thunder, coming closer, like the massive coronary that'll be my ticket out of town one day.

Not a pleasant thought, but you're my diary and that's my first semi-coherent thought this morning.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now it's time to shower and put on pants, get ready for a day's work wearing the cape and handing out flyers in the rain. Can't get started, though, because Pike is in the shower, and I'm not next in line. His girlfriend is here, again. And I lollygagged too long in bed, so there's really not time to wait. It doesn't matter much, though — I skip my daily shower almost daily.

A more urgent concern is that I need to take a dump, and unlike at the rez hotel, when the john here is occupied I can't traipse down a flight of stairs to use a different toilet. Guess I'll poop at the gas station down the street, on my way to work. I hate their little transparent TP squares, though.

These are the problems of my life — skipping a shower and wiping with flimsy toilet paper. Tiny problems, it occurs to me. No real complaints.

Also, there's a faint smell of insecticide in the air, and no tiny spiders rappelling from the kitchen ceiling. Seems the green Piker found some spiders in his soup or whatever, and suddenly the chemicals were OK and some of God's creatures had to be killed.

♦ ♦ ♦

No shower for me, but it showered all day. It was raining so hard, so unceasingly, that the ladies at the shop took mercy on me, and my day was spent polishing brass inside the shop instead of handing out flyers outside. Spent a lot of time rubbing a lamp of the sort popularized in fairy tales, but Robin Williams didn't emerge with a poof to grant any wishes.

I like the ladies who run the shop. LeeAnn is shy, but engaging once she starts talking, and Stevi is beyond butch, much more manly than me. They're lovers and supposed to be partners owning and running the shop, but it's obvious that Stevi is in charge.

♦ ♦ ♦

After work, I came home wet and finally took my morning shower delayed. Pike's girlfriend is here, again, or still, and she talks too much and too loud, but she made burritos for dinner and made one for me, so we're best buddies.

I spent the evening in my room, though, door closed and playing music to drown out her nasal non-stop talking. Finished the book I've been reading, and it was terrific so let me tell you about Dream World, by Kent Winslow.

When I love a book I read it again, and this is the fourth time I've read Dream World. It's better than I'd remembered, and I'd remembered pretty damn good, so maybe it's resonating with me and my own recent life — it's about a guy who never fits in, anywhere he goes, and never much tries any more.

It's the author's life story, perhaps lightly fictionalized, from childhood in an unloving family to school and college, where society's high-minded platitudes and brutal reality are juxtaposed, and then onward to love and the inevitable loss that follows, or comes at the same time.

It's a lot like life, fascinating and unsettling, but with better writing. It reads like human existence really is, or at least mine — things never go quite right, and there are enemies and authority figures making sure of it. The last chapter isn't especially heartwarming, because this is not some happily ever after bullshit. The despicable bad guys don't get caught by the police or punished by the law, because the despicable bad guys are the cops and the law.

It's a painful and angry book, obviously, but it's also funny and thoughtful, and reading it is a kick in the head, like Dean Martin said. I am 99% sure that the author, Kent Winslow, is really my zine-friend Fred Woodworth, but my rave review and recommendation has nothing to do with friendship. It's simply an excellent book, and you ought to read it.

You won't find Dream World at Barnes and Noble, though. It's self-published, same as this zine (but the book looks better). If you want to read it, and you should, you'll need to grab a sheet of paper, write "Please send Dream World" and your address, and mail it with eight bucks cash to Fred Woodworth, PO Box 3012, Tucson AZ 85702. 

What the heck are you waiting for? It's not pretty good, it's a seriously superb book. Dream World makes Holy Bible look unreadable crap, which it is, so read Dream World instead.

From Pathetic Life #10
Wednesday, March 22, 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.

Addendum, 2022:  It's been a few years since I last re-read Dream World, but it's still among my favorites, and some things never change so it's still not sold in book stores. The cost was $8 post-paid in 1995, so I'd guess $12 or $15 today, and worth it. The protocol hasn't changed, though — you have to mail cash, not a check, to Fred at the above address.

If that's too much hassle, used copies might be available on-line via AbeBooks or BookFinder.

Pathetic Life 

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation for DREAM WORLD. Read it three or so times myself, it's fantastic.

    You were right, however, when you warned me about The Match!, Doug. I cannot, at all, stomach the anti-mask, anti-vaccine shit. I haven't been able to read enough to discern if he's anti-vax, or only anti-vax-mandate. But the joy I used to feel when that envelope showed up has been utterly ruined.

    1. Yeah, Fred's anto-vaxery broke my heart. For years and years he's been the anarchist, principled stand against government intrusion, and I respect that and greatly sympathize, but not on this. The 'intrusion' is so slight, the benefit is life-saving, and refusing literally kills people. Nah, I just don't see any sense to him at all on that.

    2. re: a comment from a day or two ago. Doug, I appreciate your defense of the undereducated and non-readers, but there's a positive correlation between level of education and believing the Trump shit. Quite simply, the more articulate the person you're talking to, the more likely he/she is to believe that the Trump rhetoric is batty and evil. OBVIOUSLY there are exceptions. My experience is that, as usual, the exceptions amplify the reality. Two Dylans in a day seems excessive, but most likely you'll go your way and I'll go mine.


    3. My favorites (sarcasm) are the very articulate spokespeople for Trumpesque shit — people you know know better, well-paid to spew convincing bullshit for the folls who'll eat it up.


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