once upon a time we sat in a room
where i lived
& you visited
just to see me
& we looked at our feet as we brainstormed
how to make
your feet with so much character
of tree frog feet
my feet, i said, would be the picture
in the dictionary
under the word
a million years later my feet are not so
as they used to be
but they still remind me
okay. my very first comic was a soap opera based on the nursery rhyme “hey diddle diddle.” i would draw it on a chalkboard in the basement of the house i grew up in. there are not actual pages. i erased before doing the next page. but i assure you–it was amazing and proof of my undiscovered status as a child prodigy.
my first comic that i can actually share with y’all was a neurotic comic based on my own experiences in love & relationships. i started writing it in the late ’90s. i was living in a one bedroom apartment with my dog norman. we were right near the bar i waited tables at by day and would go to at night to drink & watch bands. i moved into this apartment about a month after i married my ex-husband.
i met him.
we eloped in tennessee.
i moved in with him.
he told me he didn’t think he loved me after all.
i threw up.
i moved out.
i started this comic.
it starts out pretty goofy & light…or lightly dark…um…sepia? but then morphs into an experiment where i see what stories of mine i can turn into comics (testing my theory that anything can be a comic)
i have made a page for it on my website here: confusion perfume. i am afraid the print might be kind of small. having had “serious” comic book man friends who told me the “right” way to do comics, i did the originals on large board & then had them shrunk down at a professional printer. these days you’re lucky if my art is on real paper & scanned rather than half-assedly photographed before i share it with you.
so! if y’all are like, “we can’t get enough of the inner workings of quixotic mama’s neurosis and relationship history…”
but is is kinda cool to note, for future biographical historians of mine, that this was when i first started seriously drawing again after having given up drawing in favor of fiction writing when i was 13.
note–confusion perfume is fiction based on me & my experiences. it is not straight-up memoir. some of this stuff is made up…some is true…i won’t tell you which is which…. okay, i probably would if you asked. i am terrible at keeping secrets.
(i think i have it so the print can be read now–let me know if there is a problem.)
before i met & married dusty and had an on-again/off-again dysfunctional relationship from hell with him…i had a practice run for two years with his kentucky twin.
in 1996 just after i lost the best boy i’d ever known, i fell in with this narcissistic, emotionally abusive asshole.
it should have just been a rebound…but he was so good at manipulating me that it lasted for two awful years. he conned me out of thousands of dollars, put my ego in the crapper, and cheated on me like crazy.
this poem was written about six months in.
i should have read these journals back when stuff started going funny with dusty. i had no idea what a narcissist was–not really. nor that they preyed on people like me…people with too much empathy.
i had no idea.
i thought it was love.
just like i thought it was love that kept me with dusty no matter how much of a fuck he was to me.
i should publish these journals as a warning.
i know who i am now
i am silly & sad
i am fierce & fantastic
i am passionate & magical
i am a fucking unicorn
i have been reading my journals from when i was in my twenties. it is different this time than from any time before when i have looked back, even a few months or a few moods, to see what i wrote.
even in the journal i am reading the younger me complains about previous entries–dismissing herself as melodramatic & dumb.
but not this time.
this time i find myself enjoying my journals, seeing my humor & my warmth, my passion and my ridiculous amount of hope.
thinking i was a pretty cool person.
i guess my self-portrait art journal project worked.
also, my exploration of my feelings for the long-ago boyfriend who captured my heart & never let it go again.
accepting all that. accepting myself warts & all. accepting my socially bizarre attachment to someone who is no longer in my life.
all of it.
it brought something to light for me.
it brought me to light.
i totally accept me
i completely love me
& i ridiculously celebrate me.
this is page two of my experimental tell-all art journal memoir.
i can’t tell if i like it or not.
it’s a good story. i would like to explore telling this story.
i’m just not sure that this is the way i want to tell it.
(here’s page one)
so keep on playing around with it…see what happens.
i have gotten an underwhelming amount of stuff done while my minions are gone. unless you are impressed by how many netflix shows i have binge-watched?
last night i spent between 4 and 5 hours cutting up my lambs and getting them into the freezer. i am not good at cutting meat. poor things have been butchered twice now. but it’s done!
now i need to see if i can figure out how to clean & tan a hide.
another thing i am procrastinating.
perfect weather…but i have not tapped my trees.
i’m feeling a bit useless.
so much art to do. so much homesteading.
and i just want to have a beer & watch jessica jones and mope about unrequited love while ogling david tennant.
it was always you
it was always you
the magic in my heart
my feelings of sunshine
on an overcast day
it was always you
laughing until my face hurt
like i mattered
you showed me a world
i had never seen
& have never glimpsed since
but i know it is there
i know you are there
& that is enough
it was always you
it always will be.