We are going somewhere, though. That’s the thing about travel. You always get somewhere. Once I missed a turn in Indiana and, instead of getting on the interstate, spent hours driving farther and farther away from civilization until I found myself creeping along below 15 miles an hour behind a horse and buggy. No kidding: lost in time as well as in space. But I was somewhere. Amish country, maybe.
There have seriously been moments in my marriage when the greatest stressor we faced as a couple was the elementary math curriculum. I never mastered anything beyond algebra myself, and of course mathematics education just looked a lot different in the ’80s. The Man is pretty good at math—he can do calculus—but he doesn’t know how to teach little kids like I do. So sometimes the only way for the Girl to get her homework done is for The Man to explain it to me so I can explain it to her. I wasn’t sure how funny this joke was, but I told it to one of the volunteer moms and the librarian at my library and they both laughed.
Presumably, knowing algebra is something of an achievement, because I still scored in the 66th percentile on the math section of the GRE despite being, of course, a liberal arts major. That means I’m better at math than 66% of all people who have, or are about to have, completed a bachelor’s degree and hope to attend graduate school. This tells me that most people must not know any math at all.
There’s also a little joke here about the kind of helicopter parents who would call the school to challenge the basic curriculum because their kid didn’t like it, because these people exist. They are not uncommon today, but that’s another thing you didn’t see too much of in the ’80s.
Sometimes the journey inward is the scariest one of all. If there are things you’ve hidden from yourself, you can guarantee figuring them out will be an unpleasant experience. Speaking of unpleasant experiences, today I got a cortisone shot in my hand. The PA told me I probably shouldn’t draw tonight but obviously there’s no helping me. We’ll see.
According to Facebook, I was wrong, and some people did notice my lack of comics, but I guess they were all people who were too polite to say something about it. And I missed my comics. I miss expressing myself in a public forum where I can see that my words have been read by 100s, and sometimes 1000s of humans/sentient creatures trapped within humans. And the people who like my comics the most seem to prefer Dragon Comics to my better-illustrated work. I actually wrote a not-Dragon comic earlier in the week, but it will keep until Dragon works out some of Dragon’s issues.
The line about the kitty litter also went over very well on Facebook, where I used it, in a slightly different form, to describe what middle age could go do. Seriously, when you are still about 9 1/2 inside, it’s disconcerting to hear the words “shingles” and “astigmatism” from 2 different medical professionals in the same week. Also shingles medication is terrible. The pills are 800 milligrams and the side effects can also eat a bag of kitty litter. (Yeah, shingles are bad too.) I declined the prescription to correct the impending near-sightedness because I can still read books without issue, and I can barely afford prism lenses, let alone bifocals, and because I am in denial about this middle age thing.
The Man gets credit for this idea. We were driving around in the desert both lamenting the loss of our glasses, but apparently he found his under the seat, whereas mine have been gone for a couple of weeks. Doubtless they will turn up again after I have spent several hundred dollars and several hours of my life replacing them. Anyway, he said our glasses were probably together having little baby monocles. Monocle is a funny word. We also like to imagine our cell phones mating. We are funny people.
Today was a better day, obviously. The Man was a great comfort to me. Of course, staying mostly off the internet is the best medicine. But if you, like many people, find that you can’t do that, if you’re staring at photos of people you hated in high school and former lovers whose lives all look more put-together than yours, there’s always the woman who eats nothing but cheesy potatoes, or old clips from Maury Povich or Judge Judy, and, of course, People of Walmart. It’s crazy easy to feel superior to the rest of the world if you just know where to look.
Anyway, I’ve got your number, basement dwelling neckbeard troglodytes. I know just where you live. In your mom’s basement.
How do people build entire careers on drawing political comics? I can’t even look at a photograph of our new kleptocratic overlords without wanting to vomit lately. There is so much material–so many things that are clearly not OK and therefore in desperate need of mockery–that picking 1 thing out of the day’s new is overwhelming, and by the time you get to the end of the list it’s not funny anymore, if it ever was. There’s too much of it, legions of alleged humans working with all their might to make the world worse for the mast majority of its inhabitants and acting as if it’s perfectly reasonable to watch other suffer and die as long as corporations profit. Who am I even supposed to shame?
It was another hard day. My sister probably had the right idea, getting her Canadian citizenship, but apart from the racism and most of my elected officials, I really like where I live. Still, running away has its merits.