There are a few things that are certain in this world, none particularly pleasant, so when good things happen to cross your path, it’s best to go with them for as long as you can.
Good thing #1: Still alive.
It ain’t much, and it’s unclear for how long this will be true, but right now, it seems to be the case. (However, I keep having these dreams where I see the word “Ghost!” written all over the place, graffitied on the side of buildings, in random strings of words when I’m scrolling real fast past stuff I don’t want to read, even written on the windows of my own house… And yesterday, in REAL LIFE, I saw the graffiti on the side of a truck—parked on the corner of Cypress and 28th—and Mariah saw it, too, so it wasn’t just me. My theory is that I might actually be a “GHOST” that just doesn’t realize he’s dead yet, and my unconscious mind is trying to let me know. Just a theory.)
Good thing #2: Despite the odd health scare, here and there, my little family is still alive.
The boss (Mariah) had surgery on the 27th of December (which put a nervous spin on the holidays for me—I’m phobic of medical shit, like SERIOUSLY, panic-attack worthy fear), but the operation went okay, and she was able to come home that day, doped out of her brain and sore as shizit, but hey! Still alive.
Keeping her from overdoing it has been tough (read: impossible) but she’s mending, and both of the kids are still in good health, so all is well in this quadrant. A good thing.
Good thing #3: Donuts.
I got to eat donuts from Heavenly yesterday, and it was very nice. Sugar, frosting, fried fat…yep. That’s all good stuff.
Good thing #4: Despite a drought of creative energy lately, I am still writing and drawing and even (on occasion) painting.
Stress levels have been high lately: medical shit, economics, kids growing up, politics, dangerous road conditions (and kids that refuse to stay safely at home), and all the joys and havoc of the holidays… Plus the massive UNKNOWN that seems to be looming like a fucking storm-cloud just out of sight (this could be that condition that they want me to take medication for popping up again) making the future a fuzzy blur of money, blood, hate, religious oppression (I seriously fear being persecuted for my NON-belief, forced to live in a world full of values and rules that I don’t share because other people require a series of absurd fairytales in order to pretend their lives have meaning… I’m drifting here…)
Despite all that shit, I’m still writing (see these words?) and making arts. I firmly believe that EVERYONE should make art. It really does help me deal with stress and keeps me from freaking out too badly. Sometimes, when the randomness of the universe swings in the proper direction, I even like the product of my expenditure of creative energy. Fairly often, to be truthful. I don’t make slick, commercial art or classical / art-school trained work. I come from the punk / Dada / Fluxus / experimental / art brut / outsider traditions, so I ain’t ever going to be rich or famous because of my art, but I definitely make myself laugh and smile every now and then, and on super-rare occasions, a few other people conjure up a chuckle in response to me bits. I’m happy when that happens.
Good thing #5: Music.
I got $65 bucks in iTunes cards for Xmas, and that was in addition to the Devo, Blondie, Gary Numan, and Martin Denny CDs that my wife got me. (Thank you, Amazon Wish List!!!) With my iCash, I got a Mothers of Invention album, a Zappa (DROWNING WITCH!), a Paul McCartney, and a bunch of single tracks (including the hilarious Bad Lip Reading song “Seagulls” based on a few Yoda scenes from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.) I’m a sucker for music—listen to it all the time, as often as I can—because it makes me feel good and sometimes inspires me to dance (which I’ve been told is hilarious to see.)
Good thing #6: Pepperoni.
I’ve been eating a LOT of pepperoni lately. Probably bad for the blood pressure and/or cholesterol, but fuck it. Everything in the world is fatal, so I’m going to enjoy my pep stick while I still have teeth.
Good thing #7: Now that the “holidays” are over, we can get back to celebrating Halloween again, which goes from January 1st until November 1st, when Xmas starts again. (I really only have two seasons.)
There. Seven good things for me to be happy about, but I stand by my Snake when he says, “Beware in the New Year!” Beware, citizens, and eat a fuckin’ donut!
—Richard F. Yates