March 26, 2013.  Mad Journal.  For the mad, by the mad.  Let’s review.  There’s no tooth fairy.  Your experience is worth nothing.  You’re not special, and everything isn’t going to be okay.  And if someone could help you, wouldn’t they have shown up by now?  So forget it.  There’s no magic wand, no words and no mercy.  And the skin on your elbows is peeling in the aftermath.  Whenever you think things can’t get any worse you open another door and there’s a new staircase, leading down.  You think:  If I get through this nothing will ever bother me again.  But there’s no end to this.  You’re locked in a hard-scrabble existence you never imagined in any of your fantasies.  The difference this time is you don’t know how to fix it.  There’s no situation, no cliché, no correct number of servings of fruits and vegetables that can save you.  You’ve been outed and you’re a loser.  It’s hard.  There’s no grace.  Grace got deported.

So go ahead.  Go through the motions.  Pretend.  Act like nothing’s happened.  You’re still you, right?  Even if it’s not the you you wanted.  You hoo!  It’s still you!  Hello!  You’re still beautiful.  You’re a thing of beauty.  Don’t worry about it.

Take the air.  It’s not a bad day.  Yesterday you survived a four hour briefing and, in spite of everything, today is a good day to be alive.  One more day.  Just one more day and you can fix this thing.  Give yourself a chance.  Renew that library book.  Don’t go into debt to the library.  They’ll come and beat your head in.  Librarians are hard people.  Take it easy.

March 29.  Good Friday.  What’s good about it?  Just about everything.  You nix going out except for groceries and now are in process of soothing the spirit with a nice cheese soufflé you’ve got on the bubble.  The skin is peeling off your hands and you are battling back with deluxe hand cream to combat the dryness.  This goop’s got everything in it except morphine.  The fingers love it.

So the clock rolls and you head into your dumb-ass job.  You are buoyed, somewhat, by the thought that each time you do this it’s one less time you will have to do this.  That’s philosophy for you.  Take a picture.  You’re on the two to nine-thirty and it passes without incident.  No shootings, no stabbings, no grab and dash artistry, no ignorant peasantry out to light your fuse.  The peasants, it seems, have taken the night off.  Good for them. You get through.  Back home the scab about the size of a dime on your lower back the last month finally peels off.  You did nothing wrong and it doesn’t matter.

March 30.  Easter Sunday.  I find a car under the straw of my Easter basket after taking all the candy eggs and little chocolate bunnies out.  But this isn’t a dream of my childhood, is it?  A little plastic car, two-tone, orange body, black roof, just what I wanted.  What ever happened to that car?  There always used to be some sort of additional little treat under the straw of your own, personal Easter basket Easter morning.  If you were lucky.  If you’d been good.

Author: Steven Brown


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