A sort of life

Elmo on fire

RICHMOND, Va. — I find it tough to write these days. Unless my heart is filled with misery, the words do not come naturally. I shouldn’t be so absolute. There are more distractions without misery. More to distract means less desire to write, a weird juxtaposition considering there should be more to write about. And there is, but recently, all of little value.

I haven’t shaved in a couple days and I feel like a slob. But maybe that’s just me. Mr Slob. My jeans are dirty. They’ve got a hole in them. My shoes are almost four years old. I’m wearing my old high school gym shirt. My face is scraggly and my teeth are stained with the tar from cigarettes. Yet I remain attractive. I’m an attractive slob.

These day’s I’ve been thinking a lot about my own mortality. I have no particular interest in it one way or the other. It’s just something I’ve been pondering. What will I look like? Will anybody love me? I’ve always thought I’d die before either of my parents. To not would be like death in itself. I remember when my grandfather died and feeling all that one feels as the caisson drags its way to the spot. I remember being slightly reassured that I still had parents. He was like a parent to me, but, he was not my parent. I still had those.

To be in my mother’s position, knowing that her father died, that would be unbearable. I don’t really think about it except in the general feeling that I’ll go before them. I don’t know how it came to be this way, but I know it’s how I think when I do think about such things.

Bishop the cat has found a new pastime. He’s discovered how to knock pictures off the wall. My disdain for him grows, it seems, more each day. People should not live like this. It’s just not right.

“Elmo on fire” is from Volume One: Frank’s Wild Years (1983–2009). Written between 2003 and 2009, Volume One was this author’s attempt to find meaning from life as a young twenty-something. While this endeavor would ultimately fail, what remains is a comical tale of loneliness and debauchery.

A half-read book is a half-finished love affair

A half-read book is a half-finished love affair

A bible lays open in the empty sanctuary at Emmaus United Church of Christ on December 7, 2005.