Friday, February 18, 2011

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Did I Mention Me?

Why, hello there!  You must be the putrefactive legions of undead Josh fans back for another dose of crazy.  So good to smell you again! 

Today you are in for a rare treat.  In response to the thousands of emails I get from hungry zombie folk wishing to know a bit more about me, I've decided to post one of my actual essays.  (Yes, it's one of the ones deemed too self-serving to ever be published anywhere else, but it's my blog, so there!)  It's called All I Ever Wanted Was Everything, a title which sums up the essay so well that if you hate my work and only read this blog because your English teacher makes you, you can stop reading now (the test will be multiple choice anyway).

All I Ever Wanted Was Everything

            If you gave me one word with which to define my existence, I’d go with desperation—shameless, consuming, crippling desperation.  If I want for something, I have to want for it desperately; it says so right there on my official OCD Club membership card.  And I’m an expert at wanting.

            I want success in my writing.  Real success: movie deals and best-seller lists and fan-created websites devoted to my every silly tweet.  My novel, Corpse, may have begun as a money-making scheme, a ticket out of the gutter for a dumb-ass who had no idea that writers don’t make money, a seemingly logical plan for a guy not blessed with the body for go-go dancing or male prostitution.  But these days I want Corpse to succeed for a wholly different reason.  I want validation, some sort of tangible proof that I do, in fact, matter.  Perhaps if fundamentalist Christians could burn my books on the steps of the Capitol Building, all the while condemning me to a writhing eternity in Hell--where I'd be the most attractive and popular wraith in a sulfurous cauldron of homosexuals and Jews and the random gypsy--maybe then I could look in the mirror and say, You know something, Josh?  You don’t have to apologize anymore.  You’re nothing to be ashamed of.

            Yes, I want relevance.  But I want other things, too.

I want to take ownership of the change that has come over me since my writing career began.  Brace yourselves….  I can feel emotions now.  There.  There, I said it.  The other day my Deaf History teacher broke down in class while describing her experience as an interpreter during the dark ages of see-sign.  As I furiously typed away, taking notes for my second novel, I realized that my computer screen had gone blurry. 

Shit.  That couldn’t be a tear swimming in my eye.  Could it?

Blink.  Blink again.  I shook it off, but the truth of my situation wouldn’t be denied: I felt for my teacher, for her little Deaf students.  It was happening again!  In recent months I’d found these unfortunate emotional responses clouding my inner-landscape ever more often.  They started as rare, isolated events—freak accidents, really—that always came about as I typed out some essay or chapter or poem.  But somehow these sensations found a footing on the frigid and windswept cliff face that is my conscience; they took root, these weeds of humanity.  Their vines crept into my everyday life, and though I do it reluctantly, I have to admit now that I might be a real human after all.  Who’d have thought?  Certainly not me, the guy who suspected himself a sociopath at eighteen.

This revelation has opened a whole new chamber of needs and desires in the un-beating heart of Count Joshua.  I want to overcome my long-suffered aversion to being touched so I can one day have sex again.  I want this to happen before I’m thirty.  And I want a husband.  I want to believe I can have a real relationship, the kind in which you put someone else’s needs above your own once in a while.  He’ll be wealthy: an actuary or a trial attorney.  An anesthesiologist, perhaps.  I don’t wish to be a kept man or anything; I just want a guy who can finance our $80,000 worth of surrogacy.  We’ll use his sperm.  Sure, I’d love to raise a child with my Max Factor eyelashes and boundless creativity, but I wouldn’t wish my unreasonably hairy armpits upon any member of America’s future, least of all my own son.
 
Perhaps we’ll adopt an urchin from the third-world instead.  It will be hard to leave the thatched hut they call an orphanage with just one, but we’ll know we made the right choice because this baby will look us in the eyes like he knows us.  He’ll squeeze our fingers like he’s just rejected Madonna and Katherine Heigl.  After all, it was us he was waiting for.  Of course I’ll want to name him something clever like Watermelon or GumBaby.  My husband, ever the practical one, will insist on a more reasonable name, and so I’ll get him drunk and trick him into naming the baby Jackson Pollock.  And you know something?  I would love our Jackson.  I didn’t think it possible, not really, but now I know I can love.  I’m sure of it.

            And this assuredness leaves me wanting to forgive.  I want to pardon myself for all the years I’ve lost to discontentedness, for time wasted on things I couldn’t accept or overcome, things that retarded my humanity.  I want to forgive myself for time that can’t be reclaimed.  It’s this that has me up at two a.m. night after night; this that keeps me writing.  Each time I tell the truth, each time I awaken another long-sleeping part of myself, I step closer to the things I want so desperately, and to the person I want to become.  And when these things are mine, I’ll know I don’t have to be ashamed of my desperation, for it has served me well.  And besides, desperation is simply a trait that people with feelings would call passion.

            In fact, if you gave me one word with which to define myself, I’d go with passionate—fully, unabashedly, melodramatically passionate.

Until next the moonlight glints off our blood-stained teeth,

Josh

P.S. Have you heard there's a log in the hole in the bottom of the sea?  A log!  I mean, my God!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Best Reason to Spend the Night at Grandma's House

That's right, Fans!  It's that time again!

The Zombie King's Bankably Brilliant Inventions:
Gadgets, Gizmos and Other Such Nonsense

Today's Invention: Little Diablo Snack Cakes!

Wondering what to feed the little devils this afternoon when they bound from the school bus, all drool and gnashing teeth and empty eye sockets?  Tired of the old apple slices and next-door-neighbor fingers?  The obligatory glass of postman's blood?  Will no one save your children from the monotony of sheep genitals?

Fear not, zombie matriarchs.  We at Food for Zombies know how hard you work each day, ironing and folding laundry and gutting PTA members.  And now we're proud to present Little Diablo Snack Cakes, a variety of seven snacks fortified with the nutritious brains of Honduran migrant workers, prepackaged treats you can feel good about serving to your offspring.  And the best part?  There's no work involved--just bite through the box, lock the spawn in their pen and put up those tired feet! 

So go ahead, pack a few in that overnight bag to Grandma's house, send a boxful to Taekwondo class.  You're guaranteed to hear those words all mothers cherish: Thanks, mom!  More brains, please! 

Little Diablo Snack Cakes.  Because moms like you settle only for the very best.  (From the makers of Vita-Cigs)

Until next we dispel the myth that zombies are dimwits who can't spell,

Josh

P.S. For every comment this posting gets, Food for Zombies will provide a loving home to a Golden Retriever or Cocker Spaniel.  (We will not, however, guarantee the animal will live in the home.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Klaus Barbie

Hello, Fans,

So I went bowling the other day for the first time in years.  Let me start by saying that bowling is an activity for people with strong wrists, excessive masturbators whose musculature is well prepared to toss a thirteen pound ball down the lane twenty or so times.

I am an excellent bowler.

But all masturbatory jokes aside, it really was an uproarious adventure, just the sort of thing a desperate author needs to get his mind off the critique sessions that are leaving him lost and confused in a binge eating labyrinth of self-doubt.  My sister Jamy--all cell phone attached to the ear and sleeping baby attached to the hip--and my cousin Whitney--all crazy, and... well, more crazy--joined me at the lanes where the evening started with some truly fabulous rented bowling shoes.  These things were killer: Team Cobra, maroon and green patterned, size twelve emblazoned on the heel.  I've got to get me a pair of those!

Anyway, after the first frame or two, Whitney and I decided we could enjoy the experience more if we invented some absurd ball release walks.  I started with just an awkward run sort of thing, tossing the ball at the last second and narrowly avoiding a face full of lane (those things are slippery!).  Then came The Music Man, a shameless parade march in which the ball wielding hand raises up and down like the proud arm of a baton-wielding Grand Marshall.  Whitney upped the ante with The James Brown, shaking her booty as her feet shuffled all the way through to release.  This is when the stares started.  Long story short, The Hail Hitler led to The Klaus Barbie--which looked just like The Hail Hitler with a few extra feet of stick up the ass--The Betty White led to The Bea Arthur--which may have involved an insensitive portrayal of a corpse--and The Bella Swan led to quivering all around.

I'd recommend any of these moves except The Bella Swan.  All that jittery longing leads only to the gutter, a place where you really don't want to find your balls; you know what I mean?

Until we meet again to infect the living with the frothing saliva of our plague,

Josh

P.S. If you actually read this, you've earned yourself a free carton of Vita-Cigs... not for yourself, greedy, but as a donation made in your name to the Girl Scouts of America.  You're Welcome. :)