They printed this story in the Occidental Weekly. I guess I did opinion pieces every once in awhile where i tried to have opinions so they let me print this. I also got to do the illustration:
Things are good here. I guess you could say “all’s quiet on the western front.” God I wish I hadn’t said that. I don’t even know what the western front is. Although, I could look it up. Anyways, I’ve wrote it and that’s the point.
As I was saying, things are good here. Ok, well that’s not the complete truth. Things are pretty good here. Not great, but not bad either. If things here were, let’s say, a bowl of Count Chocula, the milk would be okay, but there wouldn’t be enough marshmallows. And no, Mom, I’m not talking about girls. Marshmallows in this metaphor do not represent girls. What I’m saying is, the scenery and the environment are sweet and refreshing (like milk), but the interesting people are few and far between (like the chocolate bat and blob marshmallows). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of blobs, but not the good kind. I guess you’d have to be familiar with cereal to get what I’m talking about. You’d probably know what I was talking about if I said this place is like Raisin Bran, but let’s face it, Mom, times have changed. The kids aren’t eating Raisin Bran anymore. They’re eating Count Chocula, goddamn it. What was I saying?
Ok, so things are good here. I mean, pretty good. Well, I guess they’re good good. I’m meeting people, not interesting people, but people. It’s a nice change of scenery, but I’m not sure what the point of all this is. And no, Mom, I don’t mean, I’m not sure what the point of life is. We’ve been over that a thousand times and, frankly, I’m sick of it. You tell me that I shouldn’t know what’s happening next and that I should live my life to the fullest. I took your advice, Mom, and frankly, I wish I hadn’t. Frankly (I hate to use the word three times in one paragraph. I know how you hate it, but I feel it’s necessary.), I miss the good ol’ days where we didn’t talk about life and death. You used to be my “Mommy” and nothing more. Ok, well not nothing more, but you know what I mean. You’ve spoiled me with a good deal of information about things I should know about life and all that this damn information has taught me is that information is overrated.
For example, one of the clowns asked me today if I believed in God. I had no idea what to tell him with all of this information you’ve corrupted me with. I got all flustered and tripped over the goddamn seal’s ball and fell right into a pile of elephant shit. The clown went over to one of the high wire guys and said something to him. Then the both of them start laughing it up, having themselves a good ol’ time. Next thing I know, the whole circus is calling me Seal-Balls or Shit-Head or… The-Guy-Who-Trips-Over-The-Seal’s-Ball-And-Falls-In-Elephant-Shit or what have you.
What am I getting at? I’m getting at the fact that, at this point in my life, I don’t know what to believe. I mean, I can’t even go on a date with the Girl-With-Retractable-Arms without wondering if there’s a point to any of this. Which is dumb, I know. But, frankly (Mom, I’m a grown man, I can use that word whenever I want.), that’s how I feel. I miss the days when you used to read me bedtime stories. Remember A Wocket in My Pocket? That was classic, Mom. I miss the days when I wondered what a Wocket was, so I’d ask God for answers. I was a lot healthier then, I’ll tell you that much. Even if I never got any answers from the guy, I’d at least feel better before I went to sleep. That’s all that matters, Mom. How it feels (I also apologize for my overuse of italics, but how else am I going to express myself?).
So now, I’m kind of an outcast in the whole circus community. Not even the Dwarf-With-The-Sword-In-His-Face will talk to me. I have to eat lunch with all the marmots. But even if the rest of the circus would talk to me, I can’t say that I would be able to talk to them. My social skills have gone down hill since I stopped believing in God and all those things. The other freaks just don’t interest me anymore. I just don’t feel anything for any of them at all. For example, the guy who gets shot out of the cannon, you know Cannon Jack? Well, his actual title is Cannon Jack: The-Guy-Who-Gets-Shot-Out-Of-The-Cannon. Anyways, last month there was this cannon mishap and Jack just flew into The-Man-With-The-Gaping-Hole-In-His-Stomach. Luckily, Jack shot through the hole, but he ended up killing a pony. A pony, Mom. Nature’s cutest animal was killed by a circus freak. Well, I guess it wasn’t the cutest of Nature’s ponies, seeing as how it had those creepy legs and all. Anyways, Jack felt horrible about the whole thing and committed suicide two days later. But, despite all of this, I haven’t felt a single emotion for Jack or the pony. I guess we can just say that I’m no longer a people person or something.
Now all I have is the scenery (the milk). When I’m not working, most of my days are spent riding Candy: The She-Horse-That-Can’t-Taste-Candy a mile away from the circus, just so I can feel isolated. We ride up to the river; you know the one, Mom. It’s about three miles down stream from Jackson’s Industrial Solvent Company (That Jackson’s sure does make a strong solvent, by the way. Half our freaks are Jackson’s freaks.). Anyways, we sit by the river and just watch the ducks. All I can say is that the oil (or solvent or whatever it is) in the river makes for some nice colors. The ducks must feel like their living in a beautiful rainbow or something. I can’t say I’m not in a rainbow myself. There are plenty of flowers growing right on the bank of the river. I don’t know the names of them, but I would guess they all have terribly special lives because they serve so much purpose to the bees and things. Everyday, I pick a different one and tuck it behind my ear just so I can carry a bit of their specialness around. There’s one in particular that’s purple, but it’s a metallic purple. It reflects the Sun so nicely that the Sun must think it’s looking into a stained glass mirror. I love the Sun so much though, Mom. It casts a very nice orangeness on everything, like the world is wearing sunglasses. Ray-ban, not something like Oakleys or anything. You know, just a simple pair and nothing too fancy. Then it gets late and Candy gets antsy and wants to ride home (She eats half of the goddamn flowers anyway.). So we trot off while the Sun sets under a toxic sky of different shades of unnatural pink and all the lightning bugs come out. If it weren’t for all of these things, I don’t think I’d still be at the circus. I could hardly stand it, I think, without this rainbow of a countryside.
So I guess what I’m saying is, is that it’s not so bad here. I enjoy a lot of things and I think maybe I’ll do some volunteer work in my free time somewhat. Maybe only work at the circus half time or something. I’ll help some orphans maybe, which should be very intrinsically beneficial because although (As you put it, Mom) I may be the only one who actually exists in this damn world, I still feel like being a good boy and helping some orphans. Things like that, helping the world and justifying existence to somebody would be very meaningful work in itself. In the long run, Mom, maybe I can make a career out of it. We all know this freak thing is only temporary. In fact, maybe I’ll be a doctor or a handy man (This extra medulla oblongata I’ve got has to be of some use.). I even see myself with a wife and kids someday too. But I’m not going to teach them all the things you taught me. Frankly (This is the last time, I swear, Mom.), I think whatever beliefs they have is just fine because how can we even say our beliefs are right. I don’t care who Camus was or what sort of “isms” you have, it’s all the same to me. There, I said it. I know that saying that won’t upset you, but I feel I should be honest. We both know I’ve been thinking it for sometime. But I guess I’ll leave you with that. Anyways, I’ll see you in November for Thanksgiving and I hope Dad and Lilly are doing good. Tell them I say “Hi” and everything. Frankly (I’m precious, aren’t I?), I hate using the greeting “Hi”, but these things happen. Ok, well I hope this finds you well.
Stanford P. Willingham: The-Man-With-The-Extra-Medulla-Obla-Whatever-It’s-Called (The Carney said I’m legally required to sign my name with that, can you believe it?)
P.S. – How’s that extra hand coming in on Lilly? I know you hate buying pairs of gloves, just to throw one glove away, but, Mom, it’s the extra hands of the world that make things interesting.