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The twins

Breakfasted with Corby at Aunt Agnes's, and then he was gone.

Great guy, more than a little out of his mind. He's crazy about guns, and I'm not, and I might be wrong but I detect hints that he's a Republican. And yet, he accepts me and I'm mostly comfortable around him. There aren't many people I'm comfortable around, so of course he lives hundreds of miles away.

♦ ♦ ♦

Busing to my maildrop after work, I spotted the San Francisco twins. Probably there's more than one set of twins in San Francisco, but these two old ladies are iconic.

They dress alike every day of their lives, and walk the streets of the city making people's heads turn. They're such familiar sights that they've done commercial endorsements, so they're certified celebrities around here, just because they look like each other and wear matching funky fifties outfits.

I don't even know their names. Probably they're two nice old ladies, but all I can think is Christ, talk about pathetic lives. It might have been cute when they were six or seven years old, but they're sixty or seventy. Don't most twins outgrow the desire to always be a matched set? 

Maybe they're very happy and I'm the one who's full of shit, but I just don't understand it. Do the twins even have lives, apart from each other? Do they live together, eat three meals a day together?

I'm abnormal and I know it, but alone is when I'm most me. They're never alone, so when do they get to be who they are?

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Pathetic Life got a glowing notice in the latest issue of Interview, but they got my address wrong, so I was pretty sure that if anyone read the magazine and wanted to see my zine, they wouldn't be able to reach me.

The United States Postal Service, though, almost always comes through. There's no such place as 534 Jones Street, but the mailman keeps scribbling it out and writing '537' instead, and that's me so the mail goes through. A dozen times so far, on a dozen envelopes, he's corrected my address.

I'm impressed. No USPS jokes from me, and I've sent a letter of thanks to the Postmaster, 94102.

♦ ♦ ♦  

One of the letters the mailman corrected is from Little, Brown, and Company, a big publishing house. It compliments me on the excerpts in Interview, doesn't ask for a free copy but instead inquires how to subscribe, and invites me to contact Little Brown if I want to write a book.

Signed, Jacquie Miller, but it doesn't say what she does there. Maybe she's an editor. Maybe she's a janitor. 

Hmmm. I don't know if I could write a book, or if I'd want to, but I'm skeptical. I don't think my writing would measure up to big time standards. I tell too many piss and fart stories, make too many snide political comments, and if they stripped those away I don't know what would be left. There's no happy ending in me, for sure.

But they pay writers, don't they? For enough money (which wouldn't be much) maybe I could knock all the 'me' out of what I write. I could make this 'Doug Holland' character much thinner, with better teeth and better hair, a girlfriend and a good job, and send him on a secret spy mission or some stupid shit like that. 

My doubts could fill this room and drip out the window. What the hell, though.

I sent Ms Miller a copy of the zine, with a note accusing her of being a gag. It wasn't even a nice note, so even if she doesn't hate the zine she'll probably hate me.

In order to remain a failure, one must ever be on the defensive against any possible success.

From Pathetic Life #17
Monday, October 2, 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.

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