Let’s Talk Books – Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Warning: Spoilers

I think it was about a year ago that I saw Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend sitting on a shelf in Barnes and Noble. I read the back cover and thought it sounded really interesting. I put it on my to-read list, although I made an additional mental note to prioritize getting around to this one. It wasn’t a top priority, but I didn’t want this book to fade away in an ever-growing to-read list, which already contained too many books I’d completely forgotten about.

Well last month, I saw Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend on a clearance table for five dollars. I wasn’t really looking to buy any new books (I’d only come into Barnes and Noble for Starbucks), but come on, man, five bucks. Break the fucking bank already. So I bought it, although I didn’t get around to reading it until last week. There were other books I wanted to finish first. You know how it is.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was an interesting read. It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds. Budo’s an imaginary friend to Max, this kid who’s super sensitive, doesn’t like talking to people or being touched, “gets stuck” whenever he gets overstimulated, etc. There are several times throughout the story when Max’s parents argue about what’s wrong with their son, and they even take him to a therapist to begin finding out what’s up, but the book never labels him as autistic or anything. I’ve got mixed feelings about this; on the one hand, something the author says in the interview at the end of the book makes a lot of sense about his decision not to label Max:

A diagnosis can be very useful to a person and his family-it’s often the first step in getting proper treatment and support. But a diagnosis can also be a label that stops the conversation, “Oh, so-and-so’s got Asperger’s…” or “She does that because she has autism,” as if that can explain everything about a person. It’s never that simple. I didn’t want Max to be defined, or worse, dismissed.” (318)

At the same time, the topic came up enough and the symptoms were descriptive enough to make me feel like the author wanted us to know Max had a specific condition without actually letting us know what it was. It’s not a big deal, it just seems a little strange how he didn’t want Max to be labeled but set the story up like he almost needed one.

Anyway, one of Max’s teachers, Mrs. Patterson, starts acting strange and meeting Max in secret. Budo doesn’t like this and spies on them, which makes Max mad. At the risk of further upsetting Max, Budo listens when he’s told not to follow him to Mrs. Patterson’s car with her. Mrs. Patterson then kidnaps Max, and Budo’s the only one that knows who took him. But as an imaginary friend, he can’t talk to real people except for Max, so it’s up to Budo to rescue him.

I’ve never read a book about an imaginary friend before, so maybe that’s one of the things that made this title stick out to me at the book store. I can’t say for sure if it’s a completely original idea, and the story was honestly a little predictable, but it was still interesting enough to really enjoy and make me want to finish out of pure curiosity alone.

One of the best things about the book, however, was the rules the author set for imaginary friends. For example, Budo can’t just magically appear to find out where Max went. Budo (and all imaginary friends, for that matter), are bound by the extent of their creator’s imagination. Some kids don’t imagine that their imaginary friends can walk through doors, for example. And since imaginary friends can’t physically interact with the real world (save for one), they can get trapped if they’re not careful. And because they need to interact with their creators to stay alive, this can also be fatal. These rules are the driving force behind the story. They give limits to entities that many people would naturally assume are omnipotent, and they make the story seem more real. Trying to locate Max and rescue him, when Budo can’t interact with the real world, gives a simple story heavy stakes, and for the most part this works really well.

There’s also a theme of life and death that plays throughout the book. Budo cares about Max, and truly wants to find and rescue him. But the longer Budo is separated from Max, the more likely that Max will forget about Budo, which will make Budo disappear. Budo’s not only trying to save Max, but also trying to save himself. He contemplates this throughout the book, and even other imaginary friends question whether or not Budo’s trying to save Max for the right reasons.

Budo is the oldest imaginary friend he knows. Most imaginary friends last from a few days to a couple of years. Budo’s seen a lot of friends come and go, and naturally is very curious (and frightened) of his eventual death. He wants to know what it feels like to disappear. He wants to know if there’s an afterlife for imaginary friends. And perhaps most importantly, he wants to know if Max will even remember him. Where the external struggle in the book is trying to rescue Max, the internal struggle is coping with the inevitable. After he finds Max, who is being held in a secret room in Mrs. Patterson’s house filled with his favorite types of toys, Budo even wonders if he should leave Max here. You know, let him be a happy little boy forever and stay with him.

In a lot of ways, this book reminds me of Toy Story 3. Woody wants Andy to keep playing with him forever, even though Andy needs to grow up. Woody’s self-worth is defined by his ability to entertain Andy. Budo wants to help Max deal with his condition and grow up, but doing so pushes Budo closer and closer to death. Woody and Budo truly love Andy and Max, but they both need to accept the fact that Andy and Max are going to move on one day. It’s sad, but it’s for the best.

The entire last third of the book was intense. Budo hesitantly teams up with an imaginary friend, Oswald, that had beaten him up before the book began. Not just beaten him up, but threw him around like a rag doll. This new teammate (who, thanks to the book’s description, reminded me of Billy from Adventure Time) is the only imaginary friend who can interact with the real world, but he has rules like everyone else. He can’t move heavy things, for starters. He can move doors and other small things, as well as push buttons. However, doing so takes a heavy toll on him. It’s extremely difficult for him to interact with the real world, and he can’t do it whenever he wants or else it wears him out. He can’t walk through doors like Budo can, which adds an extra layer of complexity for Budo’s rescue mission.

After breaking Max out of Mrs. Patterson’s house, she takes chase after them through the woods and neighborhood as Max tries to get back to his house. Max shows a real change throughout these final chapters as he learns to rely on himself in a situation that he would normally either “get stuck” in or depend on Budo. Budo takes note of this, too, and goes through his own change as he accepts Max growing up, which eventually leads to his own disappearance. It’s something that I think everyone could see coming, but it was still a really sweet way to end the book.

Overall, the book was really good. I was kind of surprised how much I got into it, but I’m a sucker for themes like these. It’s kind of like a Disney movie: even though it’s predictable, it’s still a fun ride.

However, there were some things that kind of bugged me after I finished. Some are technical writing problems. For example, there was a lack of contractions throughout the narrative that became a little distracting (I do not instead of I don’t, for example). I have a feeling this was intentional, like it was supposed to somehow reflect Max’s inability to interact with people on a socially acceptable level (even if Budo is the one narrating, although I view Budo as a reflection of Max). And I’m sorry if this makes me sound like an ignorant asshole, but when I’m reading words on a page like that, it can become very distracting. Not nearly as distracting as a book like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but still, sometimes distracting. But I guess that’s a personal issue. Same goes for the occasional spelling and grammar errors I found.

But those are nitpicks. What actually let me down involved Mrs. Patterson. Okay, so maybe I missed something, but why did Max go meet with Mrs. Patterson in private in her car in the first place? I was under the impression he hated her as much as Budo, and since he hates talking to people anyway, why did he not only go with her, but look forward to those meetings? What did she actually do to persuade him to go with her?

I may have grown up on too much television, but I found it a little unrealistic for Mrs. Patterson to have a secret room in her basement. A secret room whose door blended perfectly into the wall and could only be opened by a secret switch, no less. Like… what? That seems a little too… cartoonish.

When Budo reunites with Max for the first time, Max implies that Mrs. Patterson killed her husband. This isn’t the first fucked up thing in this book, but it’s never revisited again. Like… why bring it up? The book does this a couple of times, actually. It plants these seeds of potential plot that never go anywhere, and it leaves me wondering what the point of even bringing them up were. The thing with her baby dying, okay, that I can understand. That gives motive for Mrs. Patterson to kidnap Max and want to raise him for herself (even though I still remember Mrs. Patterson not liking Max at the start of the book, although I may have misread something). But the thing with killing her husband? Why bring it up if it’s not going anywhere? At first I thought maybe that would be revisited after she was caught by the police at the end. Like, maybe they felt sorry for her, maybe they realized she kidnapped Max because she wasn’t sane, maybe they sent her off to a mental hospital or something, but then they find out about the murder and send her to jail instead.

But that’s the thing! We don’t know what happened to Mrs. Patterson! Max’s dad pins her down, the police come, but… that’s it! We don’t know what becomes of the major antagonist of the book! Maybe it doesn’t really matter, because this is more Budo’s story of accepting reality, but I don’t know… I felt a little let down. Especially because the book sets her up as a semi-sympathetic character by the end.

But you know, even with all those issues, I still really liked the book. I’d still recommend reading it. It’s not the best written book, and older readers might be more annoyed with the technical writing issues than I was, but the idea behind the book was extremely refreshing and creative, and the rules that the imaginary friends need to follow are really, really interesting. Go check it out if you can. Or wait for the movie. This book has “film adaptation” written all over it, I’m sure it’s bound to happen sooner or later.

Info for my edition of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend:

  • Published 2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Paperback, 328 pages
  • ISBN 978-1-250-03185-3

The First Semester of College

Well I don’t know about you, but things have been a tad too serious around here lately. Let’s lighten things up with a funny story. And since back-to-school time is coming up, what better time is there to talk about how AMAZING* my first semester of college was from the perspective of an 18-year-old?

*may indicate sarcasm

I think I’ve mentioned this several times before, but even though I’m not a student anymore, the end of August/beginning of September always brings a familiar feeling of anxiety in my stomach. School, especially college, stressed the fuck out of me. I guess it’s still going to be a while before this feeling completely goes away.

But for whatever reason, memories of my first semester of college have been popping up lately, so here’s a story about that.

I had a lot of difficulty adjusting to college life. I was terrified of change; I went from taking a bus to school to driving 45 minutes away, in a town I wasn’t familiar with, on roads I wasn’t familiar with; the friends and acquaintances I’d grown used to seeing on a daily basis were either gone from my life or made brief appearances around campus; I had trouble juggling work and school; my friends that were still in high school didn’t understand why I couldn’t see them as much because they didn’t have as many new responsibilities as I did.

Looking back on it, how I arranged my schedule played a key role in making the adjustment period difficult (or at least more difficult than it needed to be). I went on a group trip to the community college I’d be attending to tour the campus and pick classes. I was told our community college would be like 13th grade by a lot of my friends that already graduated high school. I honestly didn’t expect a heavy workload, so I made some wonderful choices when making my schedule.

The following is a rough summary of 18-year-old me’s thought process:

Well, this whole college thing doesn’t seem as bad as I thought. Touring the campus kind of reminded me of a theme park, what with all the signs pointing towards the different buildings. Maybe this will be fun! I can choose any class I want!

Hmm… most of these classes are pretty long. 3 hours? That’s like… half a school day. And I’ll need to take four classes to be full time, so I better spread them out so I don’t get too overwhelmed. One class a day for this commuter seems like a good strategy where absolutely nothing could go wrong. Now let’s see what classes are available to make this possible.

Well, this math class is required, so I’ll take that. And it’s shorter, too! Only 2 hours. Oh, but it meets two days a week. Okay, well I can still make this work. I need to take this English class, too. And they really wanted me to take this 1-credit course on college success strategies. Oh, but it meets on the same day as the English course, and I’d have to wait a few hours for it to begin. I guess I can bring my PSP to pass the time (I’m shaking my head even as I’m writing this).

But come on! I’m starting college! What classes do I want to take? Well, I love drawing. Art was always my favorite subject in school. And I want to do something with art eventually. Hey! This entry level drawing class fits my schedule perfectly! And look! An interior design class is available! I bet that will help me draw backgrounds better! Let’s see how this schedule looks…

Monday: College algebra, 12-2 pm

Tuesday: Intro to art, 8-11 am

Wednesday: English, 8-11 am and College Success Seminar, 3-4 pm

Thursday: Interior design, 1-4 pm

Friday: College algebra, 12-2 pm

This. Looks. Perfect. Most of these classes are pretty early in the day, so there’s plenty of time to still work a couple nights per week. And since everyone says community college is like 13th grade, I’m sure there won’t be much homework. I mean, if classes are this long, we must be working on it during class, right? And two art classes! How fun!

What could possibly go wrong?

End best logic train ever by soon-to-be college freshman.

Was there enough sarcasm? I don’t know if there was. But no, things didn’t go well. Algebra was fine; I was fairly good at it, so I didn’t struggle much (not to mention I’d taken it in both middle and high school; still don’t know why I was required to take it). English was okay, too, but I was pretty intimidated when the professor wanted me to read half of an entire book before the next class (oh, 18-year old me; just wait until you transfer schools and switch your major to Literature). And the college success seminar was useful, but ridiculously easy.

Interior design was more challenging; it wasn’t an intro course like I had thought, so I always felt behind the rest of the students. There was more work in that class, too. There were a lot of tools to get used to. I had to practice sketching rooms quickly for future clients (this in particular let me know I wasn’t in the right place). I had to become familiar with a lot of furniture and time period designs. It was intimidating, but my professor was very sympathetic and helped me out. Maybe I shouldn’t have been in the class, but it still counted towards my degree requirements, so I stayed.

However, art was the worst. Let’s run down the list:

Early class. Check.

Pretentious, unhelpful, critical professor. Check.

Expensive required materials. Check.

Time-consuming homework. Check.

Intro to art represented everything a shitty college course had. And it was intro.

My first major lesson was the difference between high school and college art. High school art classes, at least in my school, consisted of two types of students: the art kids and the kids who wanted a free period. The kids who wanted to get better at art could get help or advice from the teacher, and the others passed as long as they were working on something. The art room was practically divided between aspiring artists and people that doodled or played with the art supplies while talking all period.

My community college art course consisted of critically analyzing our homework for the first hour, being taught a new technique for a half hour, being lectured about my professor’s life as an artist for another half hour, and drawing still-life for the next hour while he walked around the room, getting frustrated because we couldn’t draw as well as he’d like.

Damn our limited, fresh-out-of-high-school abilities. How dare we waste his fucking valuable time?

My art professor was the type of instructor who was mad he wasn’t teaching at a high-ranking institution like Pratt, but instead at some lowly community college. He was the kind of professor that arrived an hour early to an 8 am class so he could tell tardy students that he was able to wake up and make it to class an hour early, so there was no excuse for them to be late. He was the type of guy who would encourage questions about how to improve your work, but when you asked, he kept implying you were being lazy and needed to put more time into it.

He was the type of guy who, unprovoked, introduced himself on the first day as someone that didn’t watch television because it made people lazy. He only owned a small TV that he used to watch art videos.

Thanks, guy. I was just about to ask about that.

During the second week of class, a few car accidents slowed down traffic on the way to campus. I was going to be late, no doubt. I usually leave early when I need to be somewhere, but the extra time wasn’t enough. I arrived on campus 10 or 15 minutes past the start of class. I was probably 20 minutes late by the time I actually made it to the classroom.

Upon entering the classroom, my art professor had the following speech prepared:

“You’re the seventh person late to my class this morning. The next time you’re late to my class, I won’t allow you in. This will count as an absence, and starting with the second absence, your final letter grade will drop by one.”

So cold. So ruthless. He freaked me out so much, that next week, I left 90 minutes early for the 45 minute drive to campus. This would, unfortunately, be something I’d do for every class during my time at community college. But on the plus side, I used the spare time to do homework, and I was never late to class again.

The homework, though… ah, the fucking homework!

We never got homework in high school art class. Maybe, like, once, if we needed to complete a project and somehow didn’t have enough class time to finish. But college art… I mean, if you went to art school or were an art major or something, I could understand, but this generalized intro class being the cause of the majority of my homework and anxiety? What the hell?

At first, it wasn’t that bad. Our professor wanted us to draw something every week, and he wanted us to time ourselves. Each week needed to have a minimum amount of time spent working on our assignments, and we were supposed to write how long it took on the finished art. He started us out small at first, having us draw apples, spheres, and other basic shaped-objects for 30 minutes. But within a few weeks we were drawing more complicated things for hours. I remember spending 15-20 hours on the final project alone. But after looking through all my old assignments, I didn’t have the time written on it, so I can’t be sure.

I’m not going to lie, after attending two colleges and the entire time put into my Literature courses… working 20 hours on an assignment was fairly common. Not every assignment, mind you. Mostly term papers. And final portfolios included work from throughout each semester, including revised and reworked short stories, so I easily put in 20 hours for those.

But for someone that was used to coming home from school at 2:30 every afternoon, with maybe 1 or 2 homework assignments from all my classes combined, most of which took 15-30 minutes and were already done during lunch… it was incredibly intimidating to come home with homework assignments from every class, every day, and one of these classes was requiring me to work for hours during most weeks.

I mean… I was already working 25 hours a week at my part-time job. I spent another 14 hours a week in class. 7 more hours a week were devoted to the commute. That’s 46 hours a week, and now I had all of this time-consuming homework to do? By the next class? And one of these classes wanted me to spend hours on every single assignment???

I started getting up at 5 am just to find the time to get more homework done. I would usually either be at class or start driving a few hours later. I’d come home, work on more homework, go to work on my now exclusive 5-10pm schedule, and try to get more homework in before going to bed around midnight. I was fucking exhausted. 13th grade, my ass.

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just draw something for a little while and make up a time to put down? Or why not drop the class? Or that interior design class, if it was also taking up so much time and I didn’t even need it?

People, I was unfortunately an honest student. I didn’t have it in me to lie about an assignment like that.

But I did think about it.

I had fantasies of starting off small, writing down an extra few minutes at first, and over time working my way up to a few hours.

A few weeks in, however, someone else had the same idea and the balls to try it out. We had to spend 2 hours on that week’s assignment. When the time came to critique our work, our professor looked over his art.

“… This took you 2 hours?” he asked.

“Yeah,” the student responded.

This… took you 2 hours?”

“Um… yeah. About 2 hours.”

About 2 hours?” our professor asked.

“Well, it was almost 2 hours,” the embarrassed student admitted.

“How long did this actually take you?” our professor inquired.

There was a momentary silence as the student fidgeted in his seat.

“Like… 45 minutes,” he finally said.

Our professor took his art down, tore it up, and told him to do it again (okay, he didn’t tear it up, but I’ve heard of art students who had professors that tore their work up). We were then lectured about how real art takes time, and work, and time, and that we need to be putting in all of this time to become better artists, and that none of us were going to pass his class unless we put the time he required into our work (and yes, I know he’s right, but keep in mind I was 18 and absolutely terrified by this point).

He knew. He just… somehow knew whether or not we were working as long as we were supposed to be. And needless to say, I was too scared to take any chances.

As for dropping the class, well… I didn’t really understand the concept of dropping classes at that point. The option was simply unknown to me.

Eventually, I’d crawled my way to the end of the semester. I felt pretty broken by that point, but I’d passed all my classes for my first semester of college. I’d even gotten all A’s, something I hadn’t done since elementary school.

At the end of the final day of art, my professor told me I’d done really well. It was weird, seeing him act kind and supportive. Maybe this was one of those classes where the professor tried to weed out the weak by acting brutal. But he said I had a lot of potential, and wanted to know if I was going to take any art classes next semester. I told him no, and he was a little surprised. He wanted to know why.

I honestly don’t remember what I told him, but what he’d been saying to us throughout the entire semester was one of the most important things college has taught me:

Whatever you end up doing for a living is going to take up the majority of your time. So you’d better love it.

And the truth was I didn’t love art. By the end of the semester, I hated it. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I loved Garfield and FoxTrot, and I cut out strips from the Sunday paper into a notebook, using them as a template to make my own comics. During high school, I fell in love with video game art from the RPGs I was playing. I redrew them all the time, and eventually wanted to make art for video games. Although I didn’t look into art schools while applying for college, I really thought I wanted to do something with art, and I hoped community college would help me find those stepping stones to a future school.

I loved drawing. During my free time. But after spending 15 weeks of drowning myself in art assignments, I knew this wasn’t for me. I wasn’t happy. And I was glad I found that out when I did, rather than at some art school I had to take a loan out for. Of course, now I truly had no idea which direction to take, school wise. But that’s another story.

So yeah, my first semester was pretty rough. It sounds kind of silly now, though. But what can I say? I had a hard time adjusting to everything. Almost every hour of every day was either spent driving, working at my job, sitting in class, or working on some assignment. It’s a lot for any recent high school graduate to get used to. I don’t know if I’d say it was the most difficult semester of college for me, but it was definitely up there. Getting used to it all was a really big challenge. College completely took me by surprise. I really wish I learned earlier the benefit of grouping all my classes into 2 or 3 days. The extra time really would have helped.

And to anyone reading that’s just about to start college, I hope I didn’t scare you. This just happened to be an unfortunate set of circumstances, but at least now I can laugh at it. You’re probably going to run into some shitty professors, but with any luck the good ones will outweigh them. Good luck, and don’t underestimate your workload! A good planner will become your new best friend!

Two Types of Silence

Silence is one of those things that can be either incredibly liberating or infinitely suffocating. Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that you really want things to be quiet, especially if you’re depressed. Let me explain.

So the first kind of silence is something I think everyone wants at some point. If you’re in a situation when you need as little noise as possible, silence is amazing. Need to study for a test or focus on writing an essay for school? Yup, silence rocks. You certainly don’t need the other people in your house making a lot of noise while you’re working. You don’t need kids outside screaming so distractingly loud. You don’t need to listen to the guy talking on his phone in the middle of the library.

How about if you want a nice, quiet moment with someone, or even just by yourself? You take your dog to the dog park at sunrise, hoping to start the day slowly and peacefully. You’ll watch your dog run around like a lunatic (OH BOY! NEW PLACE! SO FUN! PEE! ON! EVERYTHING!) and nurse a cup of coffee as the sun comes in. But then you get there and- GASP! Someone else. And it’s not like he’s sitting there minding his own business. He sees you coming in and he’s already on top of you, asking what kind of dog you have, how old she is, and anything else to make conversation for the sake of making conversation. And there’s nothing wrong with talking to other people at the dog park, but… you really just wanted the silence.

How about if you wanted to have an intimate conversation with someone? Say you need to talk about your depression with a close friend. Or maybe you need to tell someone that you like them. Maybe there’s just something really personal you want to talk about. You meet up for coffee or lunch or whatever, and you start this quiet conversation, when all of a sudden, you hear this really loud person enter the building. There’s plenty of space everywhere else, but they choose to sit down at the table or booth directly next to yours. And while you’re trying to have this difficult, intimate conversation with someone, they’re having a loud, obnoxious one directly behind you. Silence would be really fucking awesome right about now.

But then there’s this second kind of silence, and this one can really hurt. The effects of it are usually very strong when you’re depressed or lonely. When you go to sleep at night like this, you may end up keeping yourself awake with overthinking or even just regular thinking about your personal issues. You’ll turn the TV on, or listen to music, or even just sleep with someone just so it’ll feel like you’re not alone with your thoughts. And after a while, it’ll become a need. You need to listen to reruns of old sitcoms or be in bed with someone because the loneliness and pain that silence brings is too much to handle by yourself.

How about those awkward silences with family and friends? Particularly family and friends you don’t get along with. And you may think it’s pretty weird to be spending time with people you don’t get along with, but like it or not, it happens. One of you will keep trying to make small talk, but there are these long stretches of silence that remind you of the fact that you don’t really belong with them. Forced conversation and laughing at jokes or comments that aren’t really funny are never going to cover up the fact that there’s this giant distance between you and them.

Something changes between you and someone you’re close with. One of you starts dating. One of you moves. One of you is mad with the other. One of you just wants to stop being friends. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. I’m sure you know the feeling. This person’s out of your life, and whether it’s temporary or permanently, you notice the silence. The phone stops buzzing with calls or texts. Your Facebook timeline stops receiving pictures of things the other person thought you would like. You find yourself with free time you wish was still being spent with the other person. This silence… geez, this silence really sucks.

But what’s very confusing is when you want one type of silence and not the other. Well, okay, everyone wants the first kind of silence and no one ever ever wants the second type. But sometimes you’ll find yourself wanting silence, and when you have it, you realize you don’t really want it.

When you have all this anxiety about whatever it is you’re going through, you don’t want to hear annoying coworkers drowning you in idle banter. You don’t want to be out shopping and hear babies screaming. You don’t want to hear construction outside your window all day. You don’t want to go out, get something to eat, and listen to old people whine about anything. ANYTHING.

Because when you have enough trouble dealing with depression, dealing with anxiety, trying to convince yourself things will be okay, and overall just trying to work through stuff that you have enough trouble understanding, let alone trying to find a way to explain it to someone else… the last thing you need is to have a group of old people sit down next to you and start whining about everything. It took enough strength for you to get out of bed, enough courage to go out into the world, a world full of people that can potentially hurt you, and now you have to listen to such serious issues, like “it’s too cold in here,” “I don’t know how to get an E-mail,” and “what is Tweeter?” while you contemplate how to fix yourself when you feel broken beyond repair.

Look it up! For fuck’s sake, look all this shit up, old people! If 1st graders are learning second languages and how to use computers, surely someone that’s fought in a war, or raised a family, or had a lifetime worth of experiences can find the resources to learn the basic functions of a basic part of modern life!

Sorry… I’m sorry. It’s just when people complain about the most trivial things while I’m fighting a war against myself in my mind… it really, really frustrates me.

And it should. It should frustrate a lot of people. You want all that obnoxious shit to shut the fuck up, because all it’s doing is making you more frustrated, and it’s only going to be that much harder to deal with whatever it is you need to deal with. That’s when you want silence.

But then you get silence. And it’s too much. You need some white noise. You need to become distracted at least a little bit. You need idle banter, but with someone that’s not an obnoxious coworker. You don’t want to hear babies screaming while you’re out shopping, but you might want to hear the murmur of the crowds or the music in the stores. You don’t want to listen to the construction outside, or the kids screaming, but the sound of rain, wind, or cars would be nice (but not motorcycles). You want to go out, get something to eat, and not have someone else’s conversations and complaints invade your personal space.

It’s hard, wanting silence but not too much silence. It’s difficult to describe to people, especially people that are unfamiliar with depression. It’s hard enough to describe to yourself, you know? How are you going to describe it to someone that has no clue how to even begin understanding what’s going on in your head? Silence is tricky. And difficult. It’s kind of like a relationship. Sometimes you love it. Sometimes you can’t stand it. And it can be difficult to explain to other people. Silence can leave you with peace of mind, and unfortunately, the fear of the unknown.

Sad Art Day + Update

Pokemon Sketches 8-02-2014

Remember when I said I should try drawing more when I’m not feeling great and nothing else was helping? Well, I had a sad art day last weekend and drew sketches of random Pokemon from one of my old strategy guides. I didn’t think I’d do anything with it, let alone post it. But here we are.

I know this usually isn’t what I post, but I don’t think I have it in me to write about a random topic in more depth this week. To tell the truth, I’ve been thinking about uploading art for those weeks when I don’t feel like I can write well about something else. I want to contribute something each week, but at the same time I don’t want to write half-assed articles on whatever’s been on my mind. So I’m considering this as an alternative. Granted, it’s not like I’m going to draw something for the blog each week. I love writing here. It’s really helped me improve as a writer, as well as keep me on track when I get distracted or lazy with fiction. At the moment, I still want to primarily write on my blog. But sometimes I feel like I’m picking topics out of the bottom of my ideas barrel. And for those weeks, or weeks when I’m very busy, or weeks when I don’t have it in me for whatever reason, I’d like to know I have something besides my writing to contribute. So that might be something that’ll be happening around here.

Besides, the blog’s called Some Type of Artist, right? I kind of feel like there should be more… art. And yeah, there’s a lot of types of art, and writing is a form of art… ugh, never mind. 🙂

So I guess that’s kind of what I wanted to say right now. I know I don’t normally address my readers directly, but I just passed 50 followers, so I may try doing it more often. I know 50’s probably not a big deal, but I didn’t think anyone would even read this blog when I first started it, or at least not this many. And whether you’re a regular reader, a casual one, or an inactive account, 50 people decided they liked my writing enough to want to follow me. And I dunno. That’s, like… a lot of people, when you think about it. Like… that’s two classrooms full of people. And that’s not including non-followers who took the time to read my stuff and leave a like. And I’ll admit, when I write or rant about something each week and I see some people liked it or started following me, sometimes it makes my day. Sometimes it makes my week. So thanks.

Okay, so I guess now that’s all of what I wanted to say. Hope everyone’s having a good week! 🙂