A WORD FROM OUR FOUNDER
spoiler warning!!! if you have never seen the movie "citizen King" don't bother, I'm about to sum it up for you in blue text
citizen king is about a old rich guy who dies and his last words where "rosebud". a reporter spends the movie trying to find out who or what rosebud is. along the way he learns all about the rich guys lonely stressful life and we learn that rosebud was the name of the snow sled the rich guy had as a child. in the end he died wanting a toy he had that represented the last time he felt happy and safe. if is a really depressing movie full of wacky camera angles that are completely unnecessary/misplaced/distracting and it goes on 45 minutes longer than it needed to. don't tell that to your film teachers though, they'll give you an "f"
i bring this up because this blog about my grade school class reunion will be about the same and i will be typing while laying down on my couch, pretending the computer is a disinterested physiatrist.
first off...i brought my ex-wife. why? a couple of reasons- first she's good arm candy, two- she's ten years younger than me, so i know no matter how bad i end up looking i it will just make my former classmates wonder more what she's doing with me...three we can't be in the same room for 20 minutes without arguing...so if it was a dreadful ordeal i could just start a fight and that would be my excuse to leave.
as it turned out i was the only one who brought someone...and there where only a few people who made it. it was actually kinda fun. it's strange how even thought you don't remember specific things your subconscious remember whether you can deal with someone or not. i didn't feel any ill will or weird vibes and it was strange/interesting seeing people you knew when you where 10.
so it was actually fun, and everyone was real nice to me. I can't remember the last time i was at a party that didn't involve comic book people, or writers, or D list celebrities. it was nice to not answer or hear any questions about comic books. it is slightly odd that i feel comfortable with people i haven't seen in over two decades. it makes sense though, i grew up with the people at the reunion...from 1st grade to 8th grade. alot of formative stuff went on while we knew each other.
the real zinger came about mid-way through. one of my old classmates mentioned some rough times and how that ended leaving that person happy for what they have. and for the things they earned...just happy to have made it through and to be safe.
i couldn't get my head around that one. i have had some rough patches...and i know that when they are over everything seems great...you turn into jimmy stewart running through the streets yelling merry Christmas to old man potter...and then it goes away. at least for me it does. a week or so goes by and every little thing starts to annoy me again, and the nieghbors bird's chirping begins to sound as though it is perched right on my shoulder and being squeezed by the nuts.
but this person was really happy and content...even after a period of time. i want that. i want to be happy. i want to stop putting pressure on myself for no reason and stop re-doing things over and over until i am right up against a deadline and stressed out. i want to relax. i want to stop worrying about details no one else notices. i want to sit back and be proud of what i've done. hell, I'm just some jerk from Milwaukee with 6 weeks of college, no connections and no funding, and i've managed to be one of the very very few independent comics to prosper in the last decade, i'm in Mad Magazine fer crying out loud, i've got my books translated and published in Greece...i sell more comics in Greece than most independent publishers sell in the U.S. AND...my book isn't a fad, or a puff of smoke in the wind...it has the readership it does because it earned it. i want to sit back and relax and enjoy that and feel confident that i have a high level of skill and earned that level of skill. but i can't. i can't shake this horrible ambition...i just keep digging for the shiniest penny in the jar. i keep worrying that out of the blue everything is going to go away. i keep biting off larger projects and traipsing into ventures and mediums that i know zero about. I just always feel like i have to force my way into the next level, push in the next door...like if i stop everything I've done will just turn into sand a blow away. like my life's work is just a sand castle that i have to keep piling more levels of wet sand on and if i stop the sun will dry it out and it will crumble.
I want what that classmate had. how do i get it? i sent an e-mail asking. but i doubt i'll get a response because it is an insane/rhetorical sounding question AND serves as a warning that i am not happy. I'll bet being being happy is like staying sober...you can't hang around with drunks if you are a recovering alcoholic and you can't hang around with depressed people if you are going to stay happy. so i have to be happy before i can hang around with happy people...but once i'm happy i don't need them. i can retain my happiness by looking down on unhappy people and telling them how happy i am...
say wait a minute...you don't think that's what...nah
one last thing, if you have a doctrit in engineering...you shouldn't really tell people you're a doctor...am i right? because you know full well that when you say you're a doctor people think MD- not the guy who tells people how thick the girders should be. i don't tell people I'm a journalist.
by the way i wore jeans and the same stinkin blue button up shirt i wear every time i don't know what to wear. it looks nice and never wrinkles. i had two blue button up shirts but the denim lumberjack looking one finally fell apart. i don't know what this one is made out of but it is from the sixties and is seemingly indestructible stain resistant and so far-fire resistant. I'll probably find out it's made out of asbestos or malomar. i know the buttons stay hot for like a half an hour when i take it out of the dryer.