I dreamt of my friend in LBI. They were upstairs in a nearby building in the dream neighborhood and I had discovered some superpowers. Strength filled my body as confidence filled my mind, but I couldn't fly. To reach LBI, I had to jump down to a nearby rooftop then scramble down a drain pipe, run an entire block, open the door to their house and run upstairs. Despite my superpowers, I was still fifty and had to catch my breath with my hands resting on my knees. "You know it sucks being a superhero who can't fly." We spent a little time on their roof.

When I messaged them on Snapchat, they responded with "Aww Penguin Hero 😁"

My final day of staying over and catsitting is done. I'm proud that I don't have any nostalgic twangs but staying here reminds me how I could be living better.
For example: showers. Where I live now the shower is really weak and requires a lot more work to get clean, not to mention there's a dearth of sensory input. I need to feel like there's a power washer running over my skin and hair, rinsing out the day's collection of soap and filth. I need a comfortable bed of appropriate size (a full simply will not do except in a pinch). There's a necessity for more than one room and those rooms should not be shared except with a guest or a lover. I think I've written elsewhere, the elsewheres elude me, that I've become an ersatz anchorite or somehow I'm doing metaphorical prison time in a very low security facility. The latter crosses my mind because I still constantly blame myself for the situation rather than appreciating the fact that it took two.
After work for the rest of the week, I'm going to check on the cats, scoop, freshen their food and water, and give them love.

When I spoke with my friend in Bloomfield over the weekend. With Marbles resting on my thigh I texted, "They miss me. I hope that isn't me being a narcissist." Bloomfield responded, "Ummmm no... not even a little :)" That did me good. Kira always seems to return home when I'm here, Lilah comes out of the woodwork to make biscuits, Sha-Sha leapt into my lap when I was taking a poop, and Handsome Pete shows his affection in his Handsome Pete way. These small gestures from these beautiful souls mean the world to me, and I hope I give them enough love in return. Not that it's about quid pro quo.


With Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day stretching before me like a Sunday when I was five, I find myself focusing on thoughts and ideas. I had a brief dalliance with the idea of ghosts in Antarctica. Trust me, there are many to be told but there's something more important on my mind. Writing.

Especially now that I've begun writing again after all these years.

There's a comfort using Bluefish as my editor, seeing the html tags showing up in purple, anchors in red, links in green, attributes in blue, while the text I'm writing off the top of my head with minor revision remains white. It gives me a sense of industry, that I'm creating something with meaning even if it's only for me. Which brings me back to yesterday's entry where I wondered if I was a writer with a capital 'W' or merely a typist (Capote) or stenographer (Dylan).

I searched the web for any elucidation on what constitutes a stenographer or a typist from those two writers. I read this article at Rolling Stone covering Bob Dylan's career as a singer/songwriter. The major thing which stood out to me was Dylan is widely read. Me? Not so much. I read trash. I read science fiction. I read the news. I don't have a favorite book of the Bible. Heck, I haven't even read the Bible all the way through.

Capote? Who cares. He's dead. He made the most of his celebrity and notoriety during his life, but the only thing I know about him is he wrote a crime novel In Cold Blood and the contemporary counterpart to that book are true crime podcasts. True crime, regardless of the medium, is garbage. The more the writer or podcast hosts argue the point, "We're not here to celebrate the criminal" they serve to burnish that criminal's notority until it gleams like brass handled tongs, spades, and pokers from the light of a holiday fireplace. Sure the fire will burn you, but gosh darn ain't it pretty and necessary with that cold outside? Worse still is the excreable nonsense of Last Podcast On The Left with Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski finding humor in real-life horror. The trio argue up and down they're not making fun of the victims nor making light of what happened, but Ben Kissel laughing at Zebrowski's Rascals-tier gags and Parks's medicated personality to keep from winding up in the gutter or being a subject of yet-another-true-crime-podcast makes their sentiments ring facetious.

Still those jerks actually read the books about their "heroes", chew up the evidence and stories before spitting them into the mouths of their fledgling listeners. Dylan reads widely. Stephen King exhorts in On Writing for people to read, especially if it's outside of their comfort zone. H.P. Lovecraft, based upon his voluminous correspondence, read widely and devoured books which many 21st century readers would consider impenetrable.

Rather than worrying about what others think of my writing, I should focus on my own writing. I should read other writers and polish my style and voice, rather than seeking accolades from famous people. Most importantly, I should write and clear my pipes. Which brings me to an anecdote Dave Sim shared in Cerebus The Aardvark many years ago. Bernie Wrightson, best known for illustrating Swamp Thing, told artists they have 10,000 bad drawings inside of them. When they draw their 10,000 and first drawing, it'll be good. Or as Mark Kistler put in Secret City Adventures, "Draw, draw draw!"

In a context for me, it's "Write, write, write!"
Or, more simply, from a taxi driver letting someone know how to get to Carnegie Hall "Practice, practice, practice!"

With practice comes experience. From experience, as any good player of Dungeons and Dragons knows, comes strength.

But being myself, I'm going to continue to ruminate upon this because it's easier. Also because I want to do it right the first time since I don't take kindly to failure being my own harshest critic.

in closing (a note to myself)

Don't worry about other people. They're already worrying about themselves. This doesn't mean to not care about others, to not lend a hand to someone in need, but occupy yourself with what you do and find satisfaction in having done it. What's important is that you like it.

Still doesn't change the fact that when I do receive praise on my writing, whether here or at the fortean website, that I go back and re-read what I banged out in hopes of catching the zeitgeist, honing the technique, and hopefully doing something better next time. As for when people find error in what I do, that's easy. I'll just make a change, revise, and move on with my life. That much is within my control.

post script

Just spent a little time bringing my laundry out to my car. As far as I know, the dryer at my lodgings is still broken and the chip has not arrived as of yet. One thing I found was Leah left a load of laundry in the dryer. Those clothes were put on top of the dryer while I did my own laundry. I spent time folding my laundry, putting it back into my basket, then carrying it out to the car. Came back, brought up Leah's laundry, folded it but left it on her bed since I don't want to put it in the wrong place.

I almost had a moment because I found she still has one of my old shirts as her nightshirt. I'm strong enough to handle and process this. When I returned to the basement to hang my dress and Hawai'ian shirts a question crossed my mind that I'm considering asking her mother.
"Did I ever make Leah truly happy? Just yes or no."
There's a meditative quality with laundry. Perhaps my thoughts are being stirred up because I'm writing a lot more and the brain is firing on more cylinders than the meager handful enabling me to shitpost on Twitter, talk with friends on Discord, and the bare-bones basics of title searching.

My hope is writing and journalling will help me get my thoughts in order for my sake rather than your entertainment, gentle reader. Maybe feel a bit saner, coherent, and have something meaningful to share in a conversation in hopes of adding to someone's life. Lord knows I've come away with stuff from other people, some of it being mere lingering lust and some being far more profound in nature. Reckon I'll write about that for tomorrow's entry.

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