ESSAY

My brief, unhappy career as a caricaturist

Writers don’t generally excel at life. They seldom even excel at writing. But the profession of writing (and writing alone) suits them, whether they’re competent or not. Alas.

The treasure of life, to writers, is having as much time to write well or badly as possible. Writing time is costly…

The happy conclusion to one of Hollywood’s darkest stories

So wrap your troubles in dreams
And dream your troubles away

-Bing Crosby, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams”

“Addiction,” says the man on the phone, “is rampant. It doesn’t discriminate. No one is immune.”

He pauses. Then adds, with a sigh, “It was pretty rampant in my family.”

The man’s…

E S S A Y

Or an old lady

War and Peace was overdue again so I carried it back to the library with both hands.

It was October, but it was snowing.

Everyone was drunk that day or an old lady. Three drunks asked me for money, though I only had a pair of quarters on me. The…

Most people bury their terror under houses and Christmas trees and wives — but not us

Every writer I’ve ever met was scared to death.

“What are you so terrified of?” I asked Gordon (a writer).

“The world is terrifying,” he said.

“Could you be more specific?” I asked him.

His eyes got wider.

“I could if I had some paper,” he said.

We crossed the…

A daydreaming boy will grow into a daydreaming man

“Imaginative children,” a teacher once informed me, “wind up in prison.”

I spent the rest of the day imagining what prison would be like.

My first day of school determined the plot of the rest of my life.

Walking to school alone, in the opinion of my parents, would be…

I don’t even remember why I started drinking in the first place

I can’t remember why I started drinking. I used to be able to remember; then I forgot.

“You should see a therapist,” Janice, my sister, told me.

“It’s not that big a problem,” I said. “Not yet.”

Janice grabbed my neck.

“Just go. It worked for Dad. And for Mom…

Rolli

Creator. Fiction/poetry/cartoons in New York Times, Playboy, Saturday Evening Post, Wall Street Journal, Walrus. Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/rolliwrites

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