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Graham cracker slumgullion

Is it Monday? That means I'm supposed to be working at Black Sheets. 

Stayed up too late yesterday, and woke up too early today, but I squeezed myself into a pair of pants and onto a train, then a bus, and worked my shift in more of a fog than usual.

"Sleep deprivation," I explained after my fourth or fifth yawn at the office.

Then I answered the phone when it rang, did some proofreading for the magazine, tidied and vacuumed the dungeon, and packaged orders for the magazine and books we sell — an ordinary day in the porn industry.

On my way out, Bill gifted me a big bag of foodstuffs, leftovers from the various Christmas parties, ours and others, held at the party house that also houses the office. What's this? Graham crackers, Jello and jam and cottage cheese past its pull date, and also et cetera. Thank you, Bill. I'm gonna be eating fine for the next few days.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Like Blanche DuBois, I have always relied on the kindness of strangers. Bill's not a stranger, but he's stranger than most.

If anyone out there is feeling kind, someone's relying on you.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Dinner was graham crackers, crumbled and mixed with Jello and jam and cottage cheese, and eaten with a spoon. Not healthy and too high in calories, but it was yummy and filling.

Then I belched twice, and sat in this chair, looked out that window, and wondered at it all. I'm renting a room in a house full of people I didn't know a year ago, and barely know now.

Out the window is California, where I know perhaps a dozen people, and most of them know me, but none of them know most of me. Most of me, I keep to myself.

The people who'd known most of me for most of my life are up north, in Seattle. I left there and left them, came here instead, because I wanted something beyond the same old same old, every day, for every year of my life and then a pine box.

And what I was looking for, I've found — a place unknown to me, different but not so different as to be scary, and noticeably more open to the strange and the stranger. It's a place freer, and happier, where I laugh more than worry.

Sometimes I do miss the people left behind, but never yet the life. This life is better. This is where I want to be, and more to the point, who I want to be, instead of what someone expects me to be.

So who am I, anyway? I'm a guy who does what he wants to do, with no permissions asked, no compromises, no explanations, and no apologies.

Mostly I keep to myself, a friend who accepts and never judges me. I write a zine, and read dozens of other zines. I go to the movies, and read books. For fun I take long train rides alone.

I got problems, sure — no romance, no savings, no health insurance — but there's graham cracker slumgullion, and plenty of time to sit here and stare out the window.

From Pathetic Life #20
Monday, January 15, 1996

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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