Today, for the first time in ages, I sat down and spent two hours reading the news.
Tomorrow, I will go back to reading Stephen King and graphic novels, which are so much less depressing, and whose characters are less depraved, and do more realistic and human things.
When I am feeling down about my art, and where I am in my life, I do something that I've never heard recommended. I go find an artist whose work is in the same vein as mine. Someone who is more successful than me, but whose work I despise.
I read as much of their work as I can stand, and then I close the browser window, or the book, or whatever media brought their work to my eyes or ears, and I think "This talentless bozo wakes up every day and decides not only to live, but to keep producing their horrible art and inflict it in on the world. And people are giving them money for it. And this artist is, if not happy, at least content to keep breathing every day, despite all the hexes that right thinking people have put on them. And if this dingleberry gets to continue to live and produce this art that I hate, then there must be a place for me and my work."
Then I go make food, or watch TV, or something that makes me forget their terrible art.
I never do this BEFORE sitting down to create work, I only do it after I get frustrated by work, and I always give myself time to completely forget about before returning to create.
Regular Customer: Could I grab a plastic bag? My app says there's 100% chance of rain on my way home.
Me: 100%? That would mean it's raining now.
Looks out window.
RC: My app is my eyes.
Two Flat Capped Sullys came in to tell me that they've never read "comical books" before, but that we couldn't be one of the oldest "comical book stores" because DC opened the first comic book store back in World War II. They are pretty sure there was a DC store at the end of their street. In South Boston. But they never went in it because, SHOCKINGLY, neither of them read very much.
They referred to Saga as a "High End Japanese book." (It is a perfectly affordable book by two North Americans: An American and a Canadian.)
They walked around for about fifteen minutes, not even really picking anything up, but asking the usual Get The Fuck Out Of the Store Questions:
"What's your most expensive comic?"
"Is this your store? No? Do you read comics, then?"
"What kind of people buy comics?" "But they started when they were kiddies, right?" "Adults? Get Out Of Here. Adults read this crap?"
I hope some of Whitey Bulger's retired friends run over their fat, hairy, toes before the end of the week.
Like many of you, I suspect, every day my spam folder is filled with e-mails from fake estate lawyers and such, letting me know that if I give them some sort of information that they would totally not use for nefarious purposes, they can get me money from a dead relative that I totally never knew existed.
I only comment on it today because the e-mail started with "You are the next of kin for the recently deceased Terrance Jizzhound."
Bra-vo. Looks like I have the protagonist's name for my next fagsploitation novel.
Random Loiterer #1: "It's really cool that there a lot of trans comics now."
Random Loiterer #2: "Yea. Have you read Alters yet?"
RL #1: "No, but I found thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis one."
They dangle a copy of a back issue in front of RL #2.
RL #2: "That's about Transylvania, weirdo."
RL #1: laughs maniacally.
Actual Customer came in a couple of weeks ago and ordered some books from me. I took down his name, number, and the books he wanted.
Last week, Actual Customer's books came in. By the time I got around to special orders, it was too late to call anyone, so I put it in a bag with his name and phone number, with a note that he be called.
Yesterday, I noticed that someone had written "Wrong Number" on the bag, and I sighed
Today, after an annoying Staples visit, Actual Customer was waiting for me in the hallway.
AC: "Hey, I ordered some books and was told I would be called when they came in."
Me: "Yea. They came in last week, but we must have written down the wrong number for you."
We walk into the store, I grab the bag with his name and number on it, and hand it to him.
AC: "That Is my phone number."
Me: "Weird. Maybe we dialed the wrong number when we called. Sorry."
He pays for his books and walks out, leaving his credit card behind.
Luckily, he also left behind the bag with his number on it. The number he just verified.
It's Not The Right Number.
He comes back half an hour later, looking for his card.
Me: "I tried to call you, but the number you gave us goes to someone else."
AC: "That is my number, though."
I pick up the phone and call it. It rings. The same justifiably annoyed woman answers the phone.
AC: "Do I not know my own phone number?"
Me: "All signs point to No."
AC takes out his phone. "Excuse me, I have to call someone, so they can tell me what my--- Can I see that number again? That's my Mom's number." He calls the number. "Hi, mom. If someone calls looking for me, could you just give them my number? No. No. It was important. Because that was my phone number for the first twenty-three years of my life. I won't. I WON'T. Ok. Yea. Bye." Puts his phone in his pocket. "So my number is, damn it, I forgot to ask her what my number is."
Random Loiterer jumps, drops the books they're holding and lets out a loud groan.
Me: Are you okay?
RL: Yea. It's just -- I farted, and dropped my glasses, and now I have to bend into the fart to pick my glasses up. Mondays, amirite?
Four or five year old mutant child (they're all mutants to me, this one was neither good nor bad nor neutral), being carried by his dad, spends about five minutes whispering to his dad, asking him who all the action figures are.
When they walk by the Star Wars plushies, he asks again The dad names Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and C-3PO but can't identify the rest.
Dad: "You should ask the guy who works here. He probably knows."
Kid whispers incoherently to dad.
Dad: "Don't be shy, buddy. Ask him."
Kid whispers incoherently.
Me: This is a stormtrooper, this is Rei, and this one is Maz Kanata. I used to forget her name all the time."
Child whispers incoherently.
Dad: "Don't forget to say thank you."
Child whispers thank you.
Dad rolls his eyes, and they walk around a little longer.
On their way out, the dad thanks me, and says "Are you going to say goodye, bud--"
Child: "GOOD BYE NEW FRIEND. I SEE YOU SOON. BYE BYE." at the top of his lungs, directly into his dad's ear.
Random Loiterer: "Can I borrow your microwave?"
RL: "My microwave is broken. I borrow yours?"
Me: "We...we don't have a microwave. We're a comic book store."
RL: "How do you eat?"
Me: "With our mouths. Sometimes we go out to eat. Sometimes we eat sandwiches."
RL: "No microwave? That's messed up."
He leaves. I wish him all the radiation he could ever need.