The Things You Carry (a comic from my subconscious)

middle age_edited-1

It also teaches you a lot about balance.

This comic appeared to me, more or less fully formed, as an idea in a dream. No kidding. This scenario wasn’t the dream; it was an idea I had for the comic *in* the dream, which was a pretty normal dream about being back in college (at which time I wasn’t into cartooning). In the dream I wasn’t totally sure it was funny, but it seemed imperative to remember it and bring it back from the dream world. (I’m still not sure it was funny, but the few people I bounced it off of seemed to think it was worthy.) Originally, as I dreamed it, the punchline in panel 3 has the artist saying, “It’s OK, I guess,” but this feels better. Upon waking, I recalled that I had dreamed an idea for a comic, but I couldn’t remember what the comic was. A couple hours later, it came back to me while I was pinging Misses Kitty. So random.

It’s just about mortality, and the way the idea hangs more heavily on you the older you get. You watch your parents getting old, you have friends die of terrible diseases, your heroes start to die, and you can’t deny that you’re further from 15 than you are from 50, and that you too will, inevitably die. You can begin to carry around the weight of your own fragility wherever you go, if you’re not careful. It helps you make more careful choices about how to live, if you can focus on what you have left. But there comes a point where you start to understand the true meaning of being over the hill. You have an expiration date. You started some decades ago, and most surely, some decades hence, you will stop.

So you better draw a lot of comics while you still can.

3 thoughts on “The Things You Carry (a comic from my subconscious)

  1. Anna Redsand

    I love that dream phenomenon–what you’ve been grasping at suddenly appearing in a random moment. This was truly inspired. Already been back to it a second time. Gonna share. That awareness of one’s mortality, and I still find it unbelievable at the same time that I am acutely aware of it. I am number 4 on the holds list for *Being Mortal* by Atul Gawande. It’s taking a long time to reach me.

  2. Pingback: My Book Is Not about Dead Trees | qwertyvsdvorak

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