Category Archives: Uncategorized


There are two forces which tend to influence my mood in the attempt to get me to take action: the first is the result of an over-analytical mind, which has limited powers of prognostication, and the other is a sense of self-hatred which desires, above all else, that I place my head into the lion’s mouth to boldly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But, because I am a biochemical meat sack propped up by a skeleton, both forces are relegated to a painfully simple vocabulary, The result of this is that, while my gut may be shouting, “Go! Danger!”, I’ve no idea from what I should be running, to where I should escape, or, most importantly, why. And due to the fact that this communication is carried out chemically, on a subconscious level, I have no clue from whom I’m being warned.

I am a  creature of habit, fearing change much as would a germophobic panhandler, and often remain in harmful situations because I’ve come to know that devil, and, for all his faults, he’s a hell of a conversationalist. In an attempt to keep me from the inevitable despair of stagnation, my Hippocamp Nostradamus will begin flooding my awareness with subtle signals of disgust and frustration, in the hope that I will lose control and either quit the scenario outright, or scorch the very earth so that the status quo cannot continue.

This has happened any number of times, and though the process has been painful, I have always landed on my feet, and even wound up coming out ahead. That’s not to say that I am grateful, for I carry the stress of my entire life upon the diminishing capacity of my shoulders, like a mistreated and forgotten Atlas. That, and the extra three stone I carry about within my gut (a nod to the fears of harder times ahead) can make it difficult at times to stand up straight, hold my head up high, and tell the world to just fuck off.

Now, my depression is another matter entirely. In the past, I jave likened it to a sensual seductress, enticing me to fail, or some rotund, alcoholic, and abusive heckler, reminding me of all my failures (including those which resulted in a net victory, but with the redemptive postscript deliberately removed). In reality, such as it is, it is no more anthropomorphic than yesterday’s underwear (if anything, slightly less). That feeling of self-worthlessness is best represented by a hand-stitched quilt (always just a tad too warm), made up of every memory of when I had failed to be the man I know I should have been (every shame, embarrassment, and lie, neatly stitched up embroidered in a dazzling display of craftsmanship), draped over my shoulders to remind me not to get above myself.

Though metaphysical in their description, these entities seem very real, especially to someone who walks the narrow line of sanity to peer into the hidden depths of insight which the human condition may provide.

Now, for the sake of carrying on, imagine these two, not as disparate enemies, one foul, the other fair, but rather, as identical twins, down to the dimple on their left cheek, Got that image firmly in your mind? Good. Now get rid of it because it’s completely wrong.

Neither foul nor fair, nor twins of DoubleMint, this pair of overactive malcontents are, in fact, one in the same. They are a double-headed coin*, tarnished a bit from all the years, yet worn smooth from countless handling. They both despise the status quo, and hate me for who I am. One side would prefer that I live up to my ideals, while the other is more interested in my baser natures. And they can both read past and present to glimpse into the future, and nudge me toward one of their preferred destinies.

This isn’t a campaign waged on a scale of weeks, or months, or years, although I’m fairly certain that they’ve both and endgame in mind for me.

No, these skirmishes within my psyche happen in the beats between the moments which eventually coalesce to become that thing that I call life.

Say “fuck this!” now, and lose out on that promotion they were about to offer, but couldn’t yet discuss because they were checking the financials, but say “fuck this!” now, and miss out on a massive clusterfuck of corporate restructuring resulting in a stagnant wage and overwork ad infinitum.

It’s all contained within the spaces between words, in that anxious moment between heartbeats, and rather than being immediately obvious and clear cut, it can often take months or years to assess the benefits of damages of any given choice.

And that’s just if I am able to decipher the rumblings and pains of my padded tummy enough to make a choice at all.

Then there are the times when it’s just gas**.

* Phew, almost wrote dildo there.

** For the sake of appearances, I’ll not mention into how may existential crises I have launched myself in a response to lactose intolerance.

Well, Shit (Ah, Fuck It Part 2)

Yeah, so it’s looking grim for our hero, dear readers. When we last left you, Tex Batmart was facing the question as to how quickly he could boogie down from off of his mortal coil. At the moment, it’s not so much a worry that he will no longer be resident of this particular reality, but, rather, just how long he can endure it.

The current situation could still easily be described as “Continuing to Come Up Exclusively Milhouse.” It doesn’t help that I know that the vast majority of the melancholy exists entirely between the my sensory inputs and the biochemical tool which processes their reports.  I’ve almost grown accustomed to that, much in the same fashion as I learned to compensate for the warped billiards table in the local Teen Center when I was a youth. There are complex mathematical equations running constantly, adjusting the variables so that all I have to do is try to make the shot.

I wonder if, should I ever approach something like “normality”, I’ll be as hopeless at functioning within the world as I am at playing pool on a pristine table: still overcompensating for obstacles which are no longer there.

Of course, in addition to all of that, I have some objectively shitty things going on which, though not entirely caused by my perception of the world through smoked and fractured lenses, were at the very least, greatly exacerbated by it.

But even there, the temptation for self-recrimination is too great. With every problem (real or imagined), my first (as well as second third, and on until the 37th, where it takes a break for a quick moment, continuing on with 42nd) instinct is to blame myself for being such a generally shitty person. I mean, if I wasn’t such a complete fuck-up, I wouldn’t be faced with any of this bullshit.

Finances are rough, because I dared to risk everything on the pursuit of a lifelong dream, and now I’m left with repayment of failure with added interest due. And I was so fucking close…

Seriously. Look at the progress in my rust removal from December 2014 until May 2015. I got back to fucking form! I was doing things. I was so close to actually being able to write the book (or books) that I’d been waiting for, unable to fully articulate myself in a suit of armor which had very nearly completely oxidized. And then fucking life reared its goddamned head.

I had to grab whichever job took me first, which was Big! Lots!, and we all remember how that fucking fiasco went. I spent almost every other weekly paycheck on visits to the doctor and the medication she prescribed for the damage that job inflicted upon my body. When I got the news about a management gig at a restaurant in Berkeley, I was fucking stoked, despite my promise to myself that I would never again return to Food Service (or management).

Bear’s Lair Redux was, itself, a massive disappointment. A restaurant/bar should never be designed by committee, nor should it be operated and overseen by a soulless corporation. And while I met some cool people there, I was glad to bid it a fond farewell.

In the gap between that and Jupiter, I actually wrote something like 30,000 words (which I published in June (or was it July?) of this past year). Once again, I was really getting into my groove, when, suddenly, my life reverted to its relentless rhythms of: work too fucking much and then burn the fuck out.

Sure, there were other factors at play as well (including the death of my grandfather, which I have covered in several other posts), but if one is a huge fan of Oktoberfest, he should never take the backstage tour to see how the sausages are made.

There were a lot of good things about Jupiter, despite my current feelings, but it finally boiled down to lack of follow-through regarding their commitment to me in the form of salary level and insurance, especially the latter. This, combined with a very nearly complete nervous breakdown, made it almost certain that it wasn’t going to work out.

My current employer is great. There are things about the place that I don’t care for, but I’m fairly certain that’s true of any job. And I know that I have become an Expert in Curmudgeonry by now (I may or may not be fully disclosing the truth of the matter, due to the fact that one does not shit where one eats). There are some fundamental things with which I disagree, but I think that’s not really the issue.

You want to know?


I’m not doing what I feel in my bones that I need to do, which is this, but more focused and, to be honest, better.

I don’t have the money to give this another go.

The financial issues have put my marriage on what could charitably be considered life support.

I am not happy.


That last part isn’t a huge problem, in and of itself, for dissatisfaction is often the impetus for positive change.

I just feel like I am fading away, and the only thing that’s left is for my body to get the fucking message.

I have a choice (well, I have several, but, you know, narrative conceit): Do I keep doing what I’m doing, trying to clean up after my financial missteps, or do I give this writing thing one last shot?

But wait, you say, didn’t you say that you couldn’t afford to write again like 850 words ago?

I could always disappear. Pack my shit and ride the waves while surfing on the couches of America. Trigger a cascade of financial avalanches that could only be remedied by me becoming the best-selling author in the history of ever. I’m not saying I couldn’t, mind you…

But that would also mean losing my wife and son. I mean for real. That’s not really something that you can come back from- abandoning your family to crippling debt, just to chase a dream. And no matter how successful I were to become, that sort of bullshit just doesn’t get forgiven.

With all of that, and my mental illness, you can see why I think that it would be easier were I to die.


Dreaming of the Abyss

Before I begin, I want to make something absolutely clear: This is not a cry for help. I don’t want you to ask me if I am doing okay, nor am I interested your suggestions for how to miraculously turn around my life. This is hard enough as it is, without people trying to help.

I want to be honest, which means I need to let myself be vulnerable. And for that to happen, I need to feel safe, I need to know that I can tell the truth, and that nothing will be okay.

It’s come to my attention that I am in the midst of my annual summer depressive cycle. Were it not for a record of my musings over the past several years, I would most likely still believe that I was simply inexplicably exhausted. The depression which comes in the weeks leading up to my birthday is well known to me, but I always manage to forget the misery which the Summer Solstice delivers.

This isn’t about committing suicide. Ironically, I have my depression to thank for my continued existence. The same apathy which overwhelms me also keeps me from the meager stores of energy I have left which I might use to end this bloody nightmare I call life.

Would that I could but fade away, slowly disappear from the tapestry of reality, painlessly, without fanfare, without being remembered at all.


I would so very much like the ending of my life to be entirely unlike the rest of it.

I wish that I could just go to the doctor, get my pills, and pretend to be regular folk again. Cut off everything that makes me me and just get by.

My wife and son would probably appreciate that.

But I can’t. Hell, I can barely even force myself to take a shower, I feel so overwhelmed and beaten down.

I feel so torn apart and raw inside that I cannot even find a way to cry.

I just want all of this to end. I don’t care how things will work out. I’m sure that everyone will carry on without me. Hell, they’ll probably do better without having to keep dragging me on.

I keep trying to find a reason.

They tell me to stay for the sake of my son. They tell me to stay for the sake of my wife. They tell me to stay because of countless reasons which don’t mean a damn when I’m amazed that I somehow managed to get out of bed.

When it gets this bad, I don’t even want to write. You know, that thing that I’ve dreamed of doing since I was seven years of age.

The only reason this exists is that I need to remember. I need to remember how this feels when I come out on the other side, for I’m not so daft as to believe that this will be the end.

During the cycle of mania, I am blissfully incapable of of viscerally feeling what it’s like to never want to be. That’s the time of whispered lies and inflated dreams of glory. Those are the moments when I feel like everything will be okay.


I wanted to write more, but it seems that the Bi-Polar Bears have seen me typing and are closing in on me.


The Future Starts Now

Everything seems to be back up and running now, here at The Continuing Adventures of Tex Batmart (Formerly Known as The Vaults of Uncle Walt).  There are still a few bugs to work out, but overall, I am pleased with current events here at The Home Office.

In the coming days, I will begin to catch everyone up on the adventures from which I have been recently suffering, but for now I just wanted to wish everyone a good night, and welcome you all back!


The Future Is Under Construction

I’m still not sure if I am going to keep this as it is right now, as I still haven’t managed to actually accomplish the one thing I wanted to do with the whole reformatting thing. If anyone reading this knows how to deal with the back end of websites and would like to volunteer to give me a hand with a little housekeeping, I would be extremely grateful.

As for now, we’ll see how this goes.

The classic posts are still safe and secure, and when I finally have this page back to where I want it, they’ll make their way home, albeit a slightly different one, rather like adult children coming home to find that their room had been converted into an office, I’m even going to set up a special page for them, “The Vaults of Uncle Walt”, which you may remember was, up until about half an hour ago, the title of this website.

In addition, it’s my goal to create a page to showcase some of my shitty poetry (and a much smaller quantity of my good poetry), as well as news on any projects which I may happen to finally start working on, in addition to links to my e-books and various other endeavors to finally be able to sit down for a living.

Of course, all of this will take time.

Stuff like the poetry (and even photo galleries) will exist on a more or less permanent basis, and will be installed in chunks over the coming months, as time allows. Additionally, I intend to spend the next couple of weeks going through my old posts from “The Vaults” and streamlining things that existed in multiple parts so that I could pad my 1,000 word/day quota, as well as try to find some sort of thematic arrangement so that you could, should you so desire, head directly to my handful of posts about Star Trek without having to wade through a sea of whinging on regarding mental illness.

As for the blog, I still intend to run it much as I had before (though I should hope with somewhat increased frequency), but I will no longer be holding myself to a word count above 500. Your collective sigh of relief is doing wonders for my self-esteem…

I’m sure that there will be many times when I will wind up on a roll, and write to the length with which I’d grown accustomed, and maybe, once I figure out this whole work/life balance I’ve been hearing about, I might start to think about reviving it once again. But honestly, it’s hard enough to find the time to write without imposing arbitrary obstacles upon my path.

The truth is that I am a writer, though I far too frequently find whatever excuse is handy to avoid actually doing it, and I want to be able to write again. I can’t keep up the whole food/customer service life for too much longer, and I definitely can’t afford to take off more time for rust removal.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it.

It’s kind of late, and I’m pretty tired, so I think that I’ll be heading off to bed.

On a personal note, I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have stood by me these past few years, and who may (I hope) have found comfort, humor, or enlightenment within my words.

And so I present to you:

The Continuing Adventures of Tex Batmart


Now that everything has finished coming up Milhouse, I think that it’s about high time that I get back into the daily habit of writing. Soon, I’ll have ample time to write on my commute, as well as that quiet time between The Minkey going to school, and me going to work. I have to admit that I was tempted to just marathon out seven thousand words over my days off, but, while that will certainly give me seven posts a week, it won’t force me to wipe away the thin layer of rust which has accumulated since January, and if I’m to have any hope of finishing the first draft of my novel before 2017, I’m going to need to be in top form.

So, starting later today, I will resume my entries in The Vaults of Uncle Walt. I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this trying year, and I look forward to the opportunity to filling your coming days with laughter and deep thoughts.


To Woo Women

“Language was invented for one reason, boys- to woo women…”

John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Even though I may have announced on a certain face-based social networking platform that I wouldn’t be putting something out on here for another week, the chance to write something for Leap Day shone brilliantly within my brain, and I felt obligated to give it my best shot. I was playing around with wording and psyching myself up to pound out another 1,000 words about how my life has changed since I began this blog all those many months ago, but then I unlocked the front door, and had not even set my left foot within the boundaries of my domicile, when my son, my eight (riding upon the cusp of nine)-year-old son, declared to me in what can only be described as a stage whisper, that he had a date, and that he needed some advice. Aside from the strange parallels his life seems to be taking in concert with those from my more youthful days, I was brought up short by the notion that my son thought that would be a good person to come to for tips on how best to interact with members of the opposite sex. Not wanting to disappoint him too quickly, I delayed the inevitable moment when he would come to realize that all of my romantic encounters have occurred through the mercies of dumb luck, and began to ask him about the particulars of his current predicament, all the while thinking that I was entirely too old for this, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a grandfather (biologically).

As it turns out, he finally screwed up the courage to ask a classmate of his out on a date. I more impressed by this than anything else, as I wasn’t ever able to actually muster up the courage for face-to-face communications with the fairer sex until I had reached the tender age of somewhere in my mid-twenties. Until then, I managed to subsist on the exasperated interests of ladies who were somehow interested in me, and the age-old classic of a handwritten note, hastily delivered and abandoned (thereby sparing me from immediate rejection). Hell, my first kiss only came about because Heather got in it her head that she fancied me, and took matters upon herself to win me over with a game of Spin The Bottle. I never actually took the lead in the pursuit of romance-based adventures until I had come to realize that I had something within me to offer to a woman (please keep your minds out of the gutter- there simply isn’t enough room down here). By the time I finally met David’s mother, I was on the downward arc of belief in romance, and had decided that if it didn’t actually work out, well, at least I had the internet. I’ve always thought that David was intelligent, but I may have to reconsider, as he chose me (me!) to be his mentor in the whirling rapids of romance. That’s like meeting a homeless drifter in the desert and asking him to captain your imaginary galleon. Just saying.

Of course, it was at this point that Flower decided to call me out on something (which totally wasn’t my fault!), and I was pushed toward a defensive posture, despite the fact I was still reeling from the news that my son possessed exponentially more game than I had ever dreamed of having. It had been my hope that he would inherit my complete and utter inability to interact with women, considering the fact that he is, by far, more handsome than I ever was. Sure, I hit puberty ahead of the curve, but it was my total inability to make an actual, human connection with a woman which kept me from the risks of fatherhood until such time as I had fully developed theories on socioeconomics, and a place (no matter how much of a hovel) of my own. If David is already beginning the process of honing his game, there is a clear and present danger that we will have to find a bigger apartment. Now, don’t get me wrong: he’s only eight, and the manliest thing which he has ever done was belch three-quarters of the alphabet after chugging a can of Ginger Ale. But the fact that he is biologically incapable of poor decisions on a grownup scale, does not mean that he is intellectually incapable of making those mistakes. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Especially since he will be at least 34% cooler after he goes to his first concert on the second of May (we are all going to see Apocalyptica, this time with VIP tickets (and let me take the time to mention that I am kind of jealous of my son, that at his very first concert, he gets to meet the band (kids these days))).

Of course, all of this boils down to his final question of the night: “Dad, how did you win Mommy?”

Let that sink in, if you will.

“Dad, how did you win Mommy?”

Let us, for a moment, discard the notion that another person can be “won”, or that his mother chose that particular moment to start another argument with me, laughing openly at the prospect of that won her (though, to be fair, if she won me, that has to literally (literally) be the worst carnival prize ever (ever)). I have made it my mission to undercut my godhood with the Minkey since he was capable of understanding the concept of infallibility. I’m just this guy, you know? I make sure to keep reminding him. How he got it in his head that I am some sort of Casanova is entirely beyond me. Honestly, it might be flattering, if it weren’t so worrying a thought.

His main strategy is to buy her affection with flowers and a teddy bear. I asked him with what funds he hoped to buy these items, and he conceded that he might need some sort of financial aid from either myself or from his mother. But the worst part? The very, absolutely, unpardonably worst part of all of this? He wants to bond with her over a game of Minecraft.

Maybe I don’t have that much to worry about after all.

Nothing at all...
Nothing at all…

New Year

I haven’t written anything in about a week. I can blame the first couple of days on the New Year’s Eve festivities and how my increasing age has made recovery a longer process, but the rest of my time has remained unproductive due to a combination of persistent headache and a general feeling of malaise, coupled with an extended bout of insomnia and full-contact parenting. It’s really a shame, as I was really gaining steam with the thing I had been working on. Of course, part of it also had to do with the fact that almost nobody read my last column, which I had been hoping would drive some fans toward the artist. Hell, I even said I’d give away a free copy of the album reviewed, and still no one seemed to care to participate. I remember when I could count on double digit page views on any given day, and now it seems that I am lucky to get eight. I mean, I know that’s what happens when you disappear for months on end, but it’s not like I have kept my intermittent return a surprise. And to top it all off, it seems that my muse has recently abandoned me, though I cannot hold it against her, for even fountains of inspiration must grow weary of my melancholy shenanigans. So far, I am not terribly impressed by 2016.

I’m hoping that by actually sitting down and writing on the blog, that I might shake loose whatever has been holding me back, and I can get another couple of thousand words written on the Other Thing. I may have mentioned it, but I was really enjoying the process of writing it, and it finally felt fun to write again. Sure, there was a satisfaction in retooling Terracrats, but it didn’t flow as easily, and I was quite self-conscious about both staying true to the spirit of the original, and showing off nearly two decades of honed skills. But, I’ll not speak too much ill of it, for it is my first (self) published original work, and I have made tens of dollars off of it. If only I had some way of paying off all of my bills, I think that I would give it another try, and pour myself into the only career in which I have ever envisioned myself consistently. To that end, I began another business yesterday, but everyone seems to think that it’s a joke, and it looks like I may have to expend actual effort in monetizing it. Then again, last night was the Mega Millions draw, and there is a minuscule possibility that my wife and I have won some manner of prize, enabling me to forego the drudgery of working for The Man again. There’s always hope, right?

Oh, to be able to buy a house with an office, and feel no worry about debt or other fiduciary obligations. But, knowing me, I’d probably do as close to nothing as I could tolerate for as long as possible, while consuming an alarming quantity of… let’s call them “artistic enhancers.” I could finally catch up on all the shows which I’ve been meaning to get current on, and play through the stack of video games which I haven’t really had the time to play. And sleep. I could sleep for weeks, waking only to use the restroom and then burrowing back into my bed again. I could fund my friends and help their creative careers get well and truly rolling. Maybe if I focus on hoping to make the world a better (or at the very least, more tolerable) place for those for whom I care, the Karma Fairy will douse me with his positivity, and I will find myself able to enact my Master Plan without all of the hassle of having to build my empire slowly. I’m not really a patient sort of fellow, you see, and I’d sort of like to get a move on, if it’s all the same to you.

I would also like to travel. Not to escape the the sadness of a mundane existence, but to see the beauty of the world beyond that which I could rightly consider my backyard, that is, if I actually had a yard, which I do not, because I am poor, and live in an apartment. I think that I would like to see the British Isles, and then maybe pop over to check out Spain before getting drunk in Germany. Perhaps I could make my way to the ancestral home of my great-grandmother, and pay a visit to Norway. It would be a fine opportunity to catch up on the finest of Death Metals. Hell, it would even be fun to bring the kid along, and maybe even Mr. Bad Leon Suave. After all of that, I’d head to Mexico and bum about near pyramids amidst the thunderstorms. Maybe even get to know my parents-in-law. There is so much that I am dying to see and do, and I feel that I will never see or do any of it at the rate which I am going.

Baby steps.

It cost me thousands of dollars for the opportunity to knock the rust off of my wordsmithing abilities, and a large chunk of that time spent was done so under self-inflicted duress. I made myself write nearly every day, and would have kept doing so, but I ran out of money, and couldn’t keep connected to the internet. By the time I paid the bills, and we got reconnected, I was locked in at a full-time job, and found myself without the time to write. Luckily, I’m nowhere near as bad as I was when I began this blog, and there is a chance that maybe I will actually make it happen. I just know that I can’t give up. I have to find a way to pay the bills, and yet not work so much that there is nothing left in me by the time that I can finally make my way back home. I refuse to stand down again. Once I’ve stopped, and by this I mean, accept that I have failed in this endeavor, I don’t know if I could ever rebuild the momentum.

The second half of 2015 was a setback, to be sure, but I never signaled my surrender. I will make it. If only because I never made plans to do anything else with my life, and if I allow myself to believe that I shouldn’t be doing this, then I honestly don’t know what I’ll have left. I cannot bear to entertain the notion that a world exists wherein I have given up the dream of writing. I am in my mid-thirties, closer now to middle-age than I am to the vigor of my youth, and there is no better time to finally force myself to make things happen than right now.

I hope.


Enough with all of the melancholy diatribes. Although a defining factor of my personality, depression is not the sum total of who I am. There are also good things about me, or so I have been told. I’m sorry for putting all of you through my open-book therapy sessions, although I do manage to sneak some decent sentences in there from time to time, so I suppose even the darkness serves its purpose, if only to give depth and value to the light. It’s quite easy to fall into a cycle of self-hatred, and that dead horse is quite good for the beating which I’ve gotten quite adept at giving, but that’s only a part of who I am, specifically, the part of me with so little self-esteem that it verges on unadulterated self-despite. But I’m also in possession of a mighty ego, and while that by itself is not much better than the other, it is at least a springboard into the possibility of writing something that’s not so completely dour and vitriolic towards myself that it is known to the State of California to cause cancer (along with almost everything else). I think that it’s about time to try to say something nice about myself, or at least address why have a such a hard time taking a simple compliment.

Apparently, there are people in this world that have been under the delusion that I am attractive. I am willing to concede that when I am in a particularly viscerally vulnerable and self-destructive mood, I have been known to be quite charming. I would argue the point, but it has been well documented, and I have had more than the sum total of zero girlfriends in my day, so I am faced with no alternative but to admit (mostly to myself) that there must be something that isn’t completely repelling about me, at least in a certain light. But even that is not really what I’m getting at. I know that it is difficult to believe, but there are apparently people in the world who think that I am physically attractive. I literally do not understand this. I am fat. I am constantly scowling. My teeth resemble buttered popcorn more than ivory, and I carry the constant aroma of cigarettes about me like whatever the opposite of an Invisibility Cloak would be, but for one’s olfactory array. Also, I am bald. I know that’s a sign of virility, that I am literally too much man (fat joke!) to be burdened by the more pedestrian trappings of hair care products. On the other hand, I’m easily doing my part to fight the drought in California by taking such quick showers. If I was someone other than myself, I don’t know that I would “think of me like that.” You heard it here, folks: Even in the hypothetical, I have friendzoned myself.

Stop, Tex. You’re slipping back into self-critical humor.

Right. Sorry.

I mean, I have made strides since I was but a lad, in trying to make myself a better man. And there is something quite alluring about self-confidence, which falls into the bailiwick of ego (Great name for Cartwheels Into Oblivion’s first album: The Bailiwick of Ego). Not that this is truly a pressing concern of mine, but the fact is that everyone wants to feel beautiful. Even if you have someone who tells you every single day, that’s still a tiny sample size, and hardly representative of society at large. Sometimes it’s just nice for someone to smile at you for no other reason than they’re imaging the nasty things they’d like to do with/to you. Again, it’s not that I am looking for a dinghy, just that it’s a real boost to see the sparkle in someone else’s eyes. As a man, I have been led to believe that stoicism is the spice of life, and showing emotions (other than manly things, like rage) is something I should never do. Being beautiful in someone’s eyes is foolish; having compliments bestowed upon you is the most shameful of occurrences. Do I try to make myself attractive? Not really. Most of the time I just don’t give a damn. If the beauty standards were reversed, I still don’t think that I’d be caught dead painting myself just to catch a passing glance (please discount those years when I was younger and smoked clove cigarettes and wore black lipstick and nails- that had more to do with how deeply into the trappings of the Goth life I had fallen, and less to do with anything remotely beautifying).

am funny, though. I don’t know that you would necessarily believe it, if you only know me from my written words, but I’m not entirely composed of sadness and grumpy faces. I’ve been known to make some people laugh. On purpose. And as much as I want to say that I’m only good for blurting out exactly the wrong thing, I’m also pretty talented at saying things which people need to hear, at least, according to my ego. I am much more likely to try to build a person up, than to hold them tight on their way down (assuming, that is, that I was the one to topple them). Aside from a very few exceptions, it makes me happy to bring happiness to others. I like to catch someone off guard and goad them into smiling. It makes my day to brighten someone else’s dour demeanor, or use their own momentum to lift them even higher.

Of course, I don’t subscribe to a philosophy of moderation. Once I have forged a connection with someone, it’s hard for me to play it cool, and I think that I end up frightening them away. Those friends of mine who still remain, have seen me at my worst, my neediest, and clingy, and yet they somehow think that I am worth all of that trouble. Tex Batmart: Xtreme(!) Friend!

There: did I say some nice things about myself, and put everyone at ease? I guess that the moral of the story is… Oh, what the hell, I’ve literally no idea. Hang in there? I’m probably worth the trouble? I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine.