Saturday, July 30, 2016


Some of you know that I've been out of work for more than a month. I was recently hired at a new place, and the HR department asked me for three interesting facts about me so they could email them out to the others. I thought that would be easy because I've led a crazy, weird, interesting life.

And then I realized that just about all of it is NSFW.

I probably shouldn't tell them about the time I had sex with a burn victim and she shit all over me. Or maybe the time I became Future Booze Jesus and predicted that an asshole I knew would never get herpes, unfortunately. Or maybe the time I serenaded a blow up doll during a karaoke show to Elvis's "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." Or about the time that pancreatitis almost killed me. Or the time I beat a DUI. Or any of the books I published that got me fired from my last square job, like DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN or POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS.

I've done a lot of crazy, fucked up shit in my life. Most of it people would find interesting. HR departments tend to find that shit reprehensible. They find it offenses to fire people for.

Maybe I should have told them about the time I almost got my throat slit for nothing. Or maybe I should have brought attention to THE COCAINE! BROS. Or to the time I had a gun pulled on me. Or to the time a woman almost raped me.

Maybe I should talk about how I was severely beaten as a child by a man who got a Section 8 discharge from Vietnam. Do you realize how difficult that is? In Vietnam almost everything went.

Or how about the time my step-mom and father negotiated with a stripper over the price of a lap dance for me?

Or how about the time I lost my virginity? Nah, I won't do that. I promised the person who set that up that I would never tell a soul. He's dead now, but I would not betray that trust even now.

I've had a fucked up life. It's fucking weird, but I'm kinda grateful for it. My biggest rule for life is to never be boring. I've got so many fucked up stories to tell it's actually amazing.

It was a struggle, but here are the things I came up with for HR:

1. I won an honorable mention award from the State of Illinois journalism competition for writing comic book reviews.

2. I once chased down the mayor of Chicago like a dog because a friend of mine (and publisher, Nick Day) wanted a photo with him.

3. I once got slapped in the face with a bag of candy by Chuck Palahniuk, author of FIGHT CLUB. (He also nailed me with a plastic severed arm with his signature on it, but I felt it was inappropriate to mention that in a company email.)

It did the trick. One of my coworkers loves C2E2 and was impressed by my comic book coverage. Another coworker thought it was awesome that Palahniuk nailed me in such a fashion.

I might have been hired in the right place. I give it a 90% chance. I think I'm going to be good for the next 10 years. I never make it to the 10 year mark, so I figure I'll be fired about a half-month before I get there, I'm prepared for some good times.

Goodnight, fuckers.

Friday, July 29, 2016


This is day 4 of my new job. It's also the second day of walking in the rain to get from my office to the train. The rain doesn't scare a lot of people away. I'm lucky that my grandmother loaned me her umbrella. Just In Case. But I looked at my fellow commuters. Some had umbrellas, but a majority didn't give a fuck about having the sky cry on them.

You know who doesn't give a flying fuck about rain? The homeless. Rain or shine they're in their regular spot on their regular street. I cross the river to get to work from the train station to my office building. On my way in to work I see the guy who says good morning to everyone. There's the guy who peddles Streetwise. There's the guy who rattles his cup of change, the same guy who keeps taking change from his pocket to put into the cup so it seems like we all gave him something to rattle. There's the elderly woman who begs for help. There's the young couple who need drug money and aren't afraid to lie about it.

They're out there rain or shine.

On my way back to the train station their positions change, but they're the same people. The guy who rattles his cup. The young couple. The guy with Streetwise is gone, but everyone else is here. Instead of wishing everyone a good morning, they're wishing everyone a goodnight.

They are ignored. Maybe with good reason. I've known some homeless people over the course of my life, and from my understanding that's their lifestyle. It's horrible, but they don't want to change. They've found what they believe to be their place in the world. They have no hope. They just want to make it through another day.

So is Trump going to help these people? Is Clinton? Or any third party candidate who will never make it because the system is against them?

The system is made to be against certain people. Those homeless people you see on the streets will never find a place in our world. Maybe they don't want to. It's possible and likely from the interactions I've had. But here's the thing: the system is geared against them. Even if they wanted to be better they couldn't.

Look at our criminal system. People who have made a lot of piss-poor decisions in their youth can never recover to the point of getting a good job. No one wants to hire a felon or even someone who has committed a misdemeanor. No one believes people can change. Maybe that's fair. I know a lot of people who dug their own graves and don't know why they can't better themselves.

But fuck it. We should give people a chance. They might surprise us. They might transcend their place in the universe. They might even become paragons of society. You won't ever know until you give it a try.

I think mostly of a friend of mine. He grew up in a horrible place. His father was a psycho war vet. He got a Section 8 release, just like my step father. Except this guy was worse. He used to bury his son alive as punishment. It drove my friend crazy. I love him, and maybe that's the only reason he hasn't gone batshit crazy 100%.

He has IED as a result. This essentially means that no one will ever give him a job. Doctors will give him all sorts of drugs, but he'll never be able to make his way through the world. I liken him to Jody in PREACHER. So many terrible things happened to him in his youth that he swore that no one would ever make him a bitch for the rest of his life. He learned how to beat the mortal shit out of people at a second's notice. There is no one tougher than him that I know of. He unleashes his fury on anyone who has wronged him to the point where, well, he's been arrested again.

Our system is broken. It gives offenders ZERO chance. If you fuck up, you're out of our society forever.

It could have happened to me. I was arrested for DUI a while back. That's bad enough for anyone to ostracize me. I was lucky and was found not guilty. Very few people had that kind of luck.

Be careful who you ostracize. They could help society in the long run. Or they could kick the everloving shit out of you. Remember: we are a melting pot. We can find strengths in unlikely places. That's why we're supposed to be so forgiving of each other. Or we can just do shit as we always have. Business as usual. Let's march into our own destruction.

Or maybe not, yeah? Let's do something different. If we can.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


On my walk from work to Ogilvie I saw my first dead guy outside the train station. At first I didn't recognize it for what it was. I saw a guy who looked like he was passed out on the sidewalk with his back against the building. Then I saw the Metra guard trying to keep everyone away from him with the ol' there's-nothing-to-see-here routine. As I got closer I realized that he wasn't passed out drunk.

He was dead.

There's something about a dead person that completely separates them from a living person. I studied crime scene photos for a novel I was working on a long time ago. Corpses don't look like human beings. They look like Hollywood props. As soon as life leaves them they are nothing but an empty vessel. Whatever spark life gives them is gone, and they're nothing but dolls made of human flesh.

That's what this kid looked like. He was young. I wouldn't put him past 25 years old. I suspected heroin overdose. There were no bruises on him, but there was a bit of blood on the sidewalk.

I realized in that moment that the Metra guard didn't have to work too hard. No one looked at this poor bastard except for me. Is this a common occurrence? Dead people outside of the train station? It must be. Everyone else walked around him like he was a piece of garbage by the side of the street. They were busy. They had places to be.

Was I the only one, aside from the Metra guard whose job depended on it, who saw this dead young man?

No. As I walked on I saw two other kids. One of them looked almost exactly like the dead man, to the point I could only assume it was the dead man's brother. He was bawling his eyes out, clutching a friend in an embrace that only the bereaved can understand. His friend looked at the body with sadness in his eyes, and he hugged his friend back.

My train was late. That pissed me off until I realized that someone wasn't going to make it home tonight.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


This is day two of my new job. I've become a Metra commuter. This means that when I get off the train I have to walk about fifteen minutes to my office. It's fucking killing me.

OK, it costs a lot, but when I've been with the company for three months, they start paying for my train tickets. That's not the worst of it. It's the goddam fucking relentless heat. Even worse, in the morning I walk into the sun. In the evening I walk into the sun. So much direct contact from the sun is turning me to mush. It's not natural. It's a ball of fire in the sky, and it must be avoided at all costs.

I arrive at work every day with a shirt soaked through with sweat. My face is wet. My fingers are squishing together. My balls are almost all the way to my knees, and I can feel them stuck between my thighs. I imagine it looks like the web from the Spider-Man trailers with the Twin Towers in them. Horrible. HORRIBLE.

I try my best to cover my sweat up with cologne, but that's not enough. I feel very uncomfortable for the next eight hours even if my clothes have finally dried off. My hair is a sweaty mess and can't recover from it. I spend about ten minutes before going into the office just trying to clean up, and it never works.

And then I get to do it again on my way back to the train station. I always arrive about 20 minutes before my train departs for Elmhurst, and when I slump down into my seat--picked before anyone else gets on--I see my reflection in the window. It looks like Gollum just before he became Gollum. I put more cologne on even though I know it's not going to make much of a difference. I dab my face with tissue, leaving wet crumbs of the stuff all over my face and collar. I'm turning into a beast.

GAME OF THRONES always threatens that winter is coming. I can't wait for that shit. I need to show up JUST FUCKING ONCE for work without being covered in sweat. I think when winter finally does come I won't even wear a coat. I might even walk the streets of the Windy City in the nude just to feel nice and dry when I walk into the office that morning.

When I get home I shower immediately. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world. Even better than an assisted orgasm. Even better than drinking Wild Turkey 101. Good God, it's even better than reading a kick-ass book.

Can we please ban any weather over seventy degrees? That would be a huge help for me. Either that or we need to invent a transporter. Scotty, beam me to work. I don't care if there's a fly in here with me. Sure, it's fun and games until your dick falls off and you have to keep it in your medicine cabinet. But I'd rather show up dry at work with some semblance of hygiene. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Today was the first day of my new job. I thought back to the beginning of my previous job from 10 years ago. I remember seeing what I was going to do and feeling completely overwhelmed. I felt like a fraud just sitting there, nodding and pretending that I understood what I saw. But I learned fast, and I got promotion after promotion until before I knew it, the guy who barely knew how to copy and paste was suddenly in a tech support position.

During those ten years I trained a lot of people. I always saw the same look on their faces. They were terrified because they were nodding and pretending to understand what they saw. I did something that none of my trainers did for me: I told them I know it's overwhelming, but that the more they stuck around, the more they would truly understand what I was showing them. Before they know it, they'll be doing this like it's second nature.

I won a lot of people over with that. Some of them even went on to become great at their jobs. I lost a few. They couldn't take it. Usually they quit the same day they saw all the stuff that would be expected of them. It's scary shit, but I know that it can be conquered. I did it myself, and I helped others do it, too.

Today I went into my new job for the first time. I had a lot of information shoved into my brain, information that I probably won't retain at first. But I've been here before. I have faith in myself that I can learn to do this, and it will be second nature to me.

And then my new boss and my trainer both did something independent of each other: they checked with me to see if they were scaring me off. They told me that the more I stuck around the more I would truly understand what they were showing me. Before I know it, I'll be doing this like it's second nature.

I'm not one to believe in a sentient universe, but if I did I would say that it has a very delicious sense of humor. It makes me laugh every time.

Monday, July 25, 2016


It's been a while since I cared about my birthday. I appreciate all the nice things people say to me (and the occasional gifts I get), but I don't think I've given much of a damn since I turned 21. I just got a new job recently, and I'm pretty sure I would have started today if not for my birthday. It was nice of them to start me on the 26th instead.

I woke up a bit early for someone who is still technically unemployed. I had my morning Tang (which I know no one else I know does, but I'm OK with that) while checking my various online presences. My favorite, of course, was checking in with Warren Ellis's Orbital Operations newsletter. It made me so happy that I spent some time on rereading more of COME IN ALONE. More on that in a future Goodnight, Fuckers.

Then I went out and did some useful things, like checking out the train schedule so I know when I have to be at the station tomorrow for my first week of orientation. My work schedule is 11:30 am to 8 pm, but for the first week I'm going in at 8:30 am. I also got a shit-ton of caffeine. I quit caffeine a while ago, but it has become very useful to me again in my unemployment. With my brain emitting tons of energy I went home and watched some RAISING HOPE before I went out to see the new Star Trek movie.

When I got home, still feeling like I was on another level of existence, I finished the final draft of a short story, during which time I only said twice, "Holy shit, what the fuck have I done?" I also handled the three stories I got rejects for as described on my episode of the Bizzong podcast. So yes, I did productive things today.

I even spent a day self-promoting myself which I try not to do often. Too many authors spend their time pimping their shit on social media. I just want to be human with people. I hate the sales aspect of everything, but it's something I can't ignore. I pimp something when it first comes out and then let it go into the ether. Until I come to a week of self-promotion, that is. Sorry.

I considered masturbating after that. I didn't because I didn't have the time. Instead I took a shower and got some food. Fast food, which is something I'm going to attempt to quit again. I watched more RAISING HOPE, and I'm glad for it. I'm a huge MY NAME IS EARL fan, and it was a MY NAME IS EARL themed episode. It made me very happy, especially seeing TV's Tim Stack. I love that guy back to the Dick Dietrick days.

During that time I finished off the last of the Booker's that I have. It is the most expensive bourbon I've ever bought, and it's fucking worth it. I'm a huge Wild Turkey 101 fan, but this might have finally changed my mind after nearly 15 years. I'm not likely to ever taste it again. Too bad.

Then it was time for MAKING OF THE MOB: CHICAGO. That's a good show. Shitty dialogue, but it's fun to see how Al Capone changed my city. Every once in a while I stop by his grave to say hello. Once I even hunted ghosts there, but again, that's a story for another day.

And now it's time to write this. I had a lot of fun today by not going out and celebrating. I talked to a lot of awesome people who wished nothing but the best for me. Relatives gave me money when I just ran out of my severance pay. I even got a hundred bucks to spend at Amazon, which is amazing. My brother got me a POP! figure of Data, my favorite Star Trek character ever, and a Reflection figure of Scotty, who I sometimes felt like at mt old job. And I got to do a lot of things I like doing, including finishing the last draft of a fucked up story that no one will probably want to read.

For the first time in more than a month I have work tomorrow. So I'm going to bed. Goodnight, you wonderful people who are not actually fuckers, but I like to say that because it has a nice ring to it. And I like busting balls. Seriously. Thank you for today. I hope all of your tomorrows are awesome as fuck.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


I recently got a new job, and it's in the city. Paying for parking is absolutely insane, though. My only option: become a train commuter. I'm starting on Tuesday, so I decided to take a practice run today so I know where I'm going when I do it for real.

I've been on trains before but only as a child. I went to the train station in Elmhurst and got on a Chicago bound train. I craned my neck to watch out the window. What did I see? America. Seriously. I think I need to ride one of these things cross-country just to see what else America has to offer.

I saw my neighborhood in a different light, and then I moved beyond it. I saw forgotten buildings with more broken windows than intact windows. I saw warehouses. I saw truck depots. I saw a place where they store Dumpsters. I saw bridges with graffiti. I saw creeks surrounded by woods where underage teens and indigents undoubtedly smoke weed and get drunk. And I saw the city, both the ugly and the beautiful. Holy shit, my train ride should have had a soundtrack by REM. "Driver 8" is perfect for this shit. Or maybe Marcy Playground's "Memphis."

Aside from the stops there is nothing good to be seen from a train. These are the forgotten places. The abandoned places. The lost places. I feel the soul that used to be here and see only the shell of what remains.

It's the ghost of America. May it rest in peace.

Friday, July 22, 2016


All right. I know what I'm about to say is going to make me sound like a pretentious fuck. A self important prick. Maybe even a fuddy duddy. But here goes . . .

I need you all to stop referring to art as "content." Seriously. I don't generally refer to myself as an artist. I'm an entertainer. But at the same time the word "content" demeans us.

Look, I want to entertain people. I write crazy fucked up shit with the purpose of taking you away from your serious lives for at least ten minutes. Or twenty, if you're reading a few chapters of a bigger work. My secondary purpose is to say something important. I want to make people feel emotions, but for those who are looking for something deeper, you'll find it. Even crazy shit like "Monster Cock" means something. It's a criticism of our phallocentric society destroying us. But that's there only if you're looking for something.

Alan Moore once said that there should be some kind of purpose to everything you write, and he's right. Behind all the crazy shit that happens in my work there is always a point. If you want it, that is.

When you refer to art as content, you're reducing what we do. To put it another way, remember English Bob from UNFORGIVEN? He has a monologue about how if you tried to assassinate royalty, your hand would shake and you wouldn't be able to do it. But if you tried to assassinate a president . . . why not assassinate a president? I look at the difference between art and content the same way.

Content takes up time in your life. It's meaningless. It will give you a quick laugh, but then it's out of your system. Art is not that. It gives you something to think about. Maybe you get a laugh out of it, sure, but it means something. The best of art actually changes the world.

That movie you just saw? It's not content. That book you just read? Not content. That TV show you like? It's *probably* not content. Shit, even those YouTube videos you watch are probably art. I had a conversation with a friend about whether or not podcasts are art, and I think they are. To a degree.

Content takes up time. Art makes a difference. Stop confusing the two. This has been a public service announcement from a guy who probably spends too much time looking at the lint in his navel, but still.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


It's creeping up on 2 am as I write this. It's been a while since I've been up this late . . . and sober. When I don't have at least a nightcap, I get insomnia. I'm not even tired right now. I don't like that. I think I'm at my happiest when I'm sleeping. But I'm going to write this and try to force myself to close my eyes and stop thinking racing thoughts.

I have a drug test tomorrow. I know I'll pass it, but I'd prefer if massive amounts of booze doesn't show up on it. It's out of my system, I'm sure, but I want to be 100% positive. Don't worry, I'm not getting the shakes or the DT's. I tell people that, and they're kinda shocked. Maybe I just don't drink as much as they assume I do. OK, yeah, maybe sometimes I do, but I've known people who could put down an entire handle of alcohol in one sitting. People who can't get out of bed unless they have a drink. Stuff like that's crazy. When you reach that point you might want to think about other options.

I quit caffeine a while ago. The withdrawals from that were fucking horrible. I don't feel anything like it when I go a stretch of time without drinking whiskey. Caffeine is a real bitch, though. Everyone drinks it, so you don't get a lot of sympathy when you're feeling sick and achy. I've had a few caffeine drinks lately, and dear God I've missed it, but I'm not going into withdrawals from stopping it. Yet.

Holy hell. Being up this late and sober? I'm not sure I like this odd feeling. I guess I'll get used to it when I do it more often as I start my new job. I'll be working 11:30 am to 8 pm, so my inner clock is going to be kind of crazy for a while. You'll be getting your dose of GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS very late into the night, indeed. Hell, most of you will probably forget about it since it'll come out when you're all asleep. How many of you are reading this now?

I just opened my head and poured out its contents onto the keyboard. This is what my brain will be doing for the next hour or so before it finally gives up and lets me get some sleep. Imagine those annoying questions coming at you for hours . . . from yourself . . . and there's nothing you can do about it.

Goodnight, fuckers.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


You know, I truly love some author photos. When I was a kid I told myself that every author photo of mine would be me holding a stuffed dolphin like a gun. Maybe I'll still do that. For now this is what I have:

I think it's pretty cool. I'm drinking in it, so it's a good depiction of me. It's kind of old, and I've gotten a bit fat, but Chuck Palahniuk always said to take your author photos when you're young, so . . . By the way this picture is also on my business card. I'm proud of it.

You know who has great author photos? People in the bizarro anti-genre. I love those folks, and I'm glad that I'm in that group. But when I think about truly outstanding author photos? I'm mostly thinking about Joe Hill's for THE FIREMAN.

Most authors published by the big boys want their photos to look like they're thoughtful or important. Joe Hill just looks like he's having a lot of fun. He's just being him, not the pretentious fuck that most of the rest of us are trying for.

Here's another great author photo from Hunter S. Thompson's KINGDOM OF FEAR:

Who the fuck does that? Someone who just wants to be himself, of course. Don't be plain, fellow writers. Let your freak flag fly, as they say. The author photo is, and I know I'll get some weird glances from this, an art. Just like the author bio. Let's not be boring, eh? Let's strive for excellence, as Outlaw Vern would say.

Outlaw Vern's author photo

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I just saw SWISS ARMY MAN recently, and I couldn't help but notice how important flatulence is to the plot. But then I thought about something deeper than that: for that particular film, farts turned out to be someone's job. That's right, someone had to select the farts that were going to be used in the movie. How fucking weird must that job be? You can't just go with any fart, either. Sometimes you need a squeaker. Sometimes a growler. Sometimes you need something that's going to be loud enough to vibrate the chest of a viewer. The filmmakers needed a fart expert to do this.

And then I remembered something else. When I was a kid I was lucky enough to score a copy of GAUNTLET's Stephen King tribute issue. Among my findings in that selection was a piece King wrote about filming MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. He talked about the one bathroom scene which was kind of heavy on farts. He described listening to a bunch of fart recordings because he wanted to get the exact fart that would be perfect for that scene.

How fucking cool is that? Are there people in Hollywood who consider themselves fart wranglers? If so, that's the job I want. I'll write stories for my ideal job, but I want to earn my bread and butter finding the farts that movie directors need for their work. The Academy needs to start awarding movies for Best Fart.

Let's face it: farts are overlooked when it comes to Oscar season. Not enough creators take farts into consideration when they're doing their thing. Lest ye forget, most of "fart" is "art."

I think I need to create a Kickstarter for this. Or maybe a petition. WHO'S WITH ME?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


So many of you know that I was fired recently because my former HR department found out about me writing fucked up books like DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN and POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS. Something has been working at the back of my brain. Unfortunately I don't know how to proceed because I don't know shit about starting a nonprofit organization.

I live and work in Illinois where you can be fired for any fucking reason in the world unless you 1) are part of a protected group or 2) you have a contract with your employer. That means that if you wear a black shirt and your boss doesn't like black shirts, you can be fired. Or if you think the Cubs are better than the Sox when your boss is a Sox fan, you can be fired. Or . . . well, you get the idea.

There are a lot of states like this. I think it's bullshit, but I guess being the boss is included in being a protected group, so what the fuck do I know? Anyway, I looked into taking legal action. I signed a paper saying that I can't sue the company, and in exchange for that I would get my severance. I had to make a really bad decision, but I needed the money so I signed. I figured that meant I signed it under duress. Turns out, the legal world has a very different definition of the phrase "under duress" than the rest of us. According to them signing something "under duress" means that I would have to have a physical, literal gun to my head while signing the paper. I consulted three lawyers. Two of them didn't know enough, and the third was pretty sure I couldn't do anything, but at least he looked into it. They decided not to take the case.

Here's the thing: I think it's unfair to fire someone because they moonlight as authors of fucked up fiction. Just so long as that other life doesn't interfere with the job life, I should be able to write whatever the fuck I want. If I want to write about Frankenstein creating his own man just so he can have sex with him, then by Christ I will.

Here's what I want to do: I want to create a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping authors who have been fired from their square jobs over the fiction they write. I don't know the first thing about setting this up. All I know is it's got to be nonprofit. It's got to be a charity. I want to help people who are in my position. I want them to have legal recourse. I want them to have at least some kind of stream of income while they're down on their luck. In other words, I don't want people to suffer like I have.

I remember several conversations with other authors of fucked up shit. Over the course of these discussions they have told me that they write under a pseudonym because they don't want to be discovered by their places of employment. I never understood that. I figured it would be fine because the author life very rarely has an impact on the square life. I was wrong. It happened to me. Even though I just got hired at another place I still feel the pain from being fired for something I wrote.

I just want to help authors. Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, July 11, 2016


I've been unemployed for almost a month. Today I learned that I am once again gainfully employed. That picture is of me having a celebratory glass of Booker's, the most expensive whiskey I've ever bought and probably my new favorite alcoholic beverage.

In that month of not working, though, I learned something horrible about myself. And that's why I'm writing here tonight for the first time since May. It all has to do with PREACHER, so if you haven't read the book or seen the show, there are some spoilers in this piece. You might want to read this another time.

When I was in college I was through with comic books. That might sound funny to those of you in my life today, considering how deep into comics I am now. But when I was a kid Marvel canceled THE TRANSFORMERS, my favorite book then, and I was so pissed that I gave up on the medium. But then I met my buddy, CJ. He put three books into my hand that brought me back. The first was EVIL ERNIE: YOUTH GONE WILD. He also loaned me the first HITMAN story arc. But most importantly he let me borrow PREACHER: UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD.

That book blew me the fuck away. I was at a low point in my life. I hated everyone and everything. If you knew me back then you wouldn't have wanted to be my friend. In fact I only know four people right now who knew me back then and are still my friends. But PREACHER helped me understand the world a bit more. I learned to love because of PREACHER. It helped me in so many ways I can't mention them all here.

AMC recently adapted the comics to TV, and I love the show. It's not as good, but it's pretty fucking good. Now that I had more time on my hands I decided to reread PREACHER for the thousandth time. It had a much different impact on me.

I've lost my way. I knew I had, but I had no idea how far off the path I'd strayed. For most of my adult life I have lived as a Jesse Custer. Rereading PREACHER this time revealed me to be a Cassidy. Don't worry, I'm not full Cassidy. I'm not hitting on your girlfriend behind your back or beating the shit out of women or letting drugs control my life. I drink a lot more than I should, but I'm not that bad. My mom still drank worse than me before she died.

I used to stand for things. Now I just have snarky comments. I loved, but now my heart is cynical. Those of you who read the comics know about Jesse and Cassidy's discussion about Laurel and Hardy fans vs. Charlie Chaplin fans. Here's the thing, though: judging by later issues I think that Cassidy is a style over content guy despite what he says. I love content in my writing life, but in my regular life . . . fucking hell. I think my style has overcome my content.

Rereading PREACHER shocked me. I've never read it like this before, with this interpretation. I have compromised all of my old thoughts about the world.

So that's changing. I'm going back to my roots. I'm welcoming love back into my life. I'm standing for things. I'm trying to be one of the good guys because there are way too many of the bad.

I got fired. What did I do that first day? I chopped up about seven Vicodins and drank a shit-ton of whiskey. I did so many of them because I have a high tolerance for opiods. I underestimated them and for about four hours of dizziness I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. When I came out of it, and I don't mean to compare me to this horrible scene, but I felt like Tulip waking up after being stuffed with so much Valium and vodka by Cassidy. When I reread PREACHER, I knew exactly what she meant by telling Cassidy that she was no longer his drugged up slut; that she was HER.

It took me a while to admit it, and when I did I gave myself the weekend to finish up wallowing in my misery. The end was last night. Today is the new me, better than the old me. I used to be so certain of myself, and then I hit about 10-15 years of fucking up. Doubt crept in. Depression ruled my mind.

No more. I know who I am again. It's good to be back, pardners. Let's see what we can do with this crazy ol' world of ours.