Friday, February 26, 2010

Some time ago I purchased a fancy writing/drawring tablet. I seldom use it because my handwriting is still atrocious. I'm still at about monkey-with-a-charred-stick level. And not one of those smart monkeys that make tools; I'm talking the ones that you can catch with a single piece of food because they panic and won't let go of it.

My drawring is improving. As I've shown, I am moving beyond my usual "green" slug and moving into the "reds". I'm not sure why I just used quotation marks; it just seemed the right thing to do as an artist. As if my greens and reds were magically different than everyone else's. Some philosophers may argue this possibility, but those are the kind that no one likes because they waste your time and never offer to pick up the check just as a nice gesture.

Those kind of philosophers.

While drawring my ""red"" slug I was reminded of my Otter of Despair. This otter is forever working up the determination to crack open a clam on his belly. Forever lifting up his rock, only to watch it fall back like Sisyphus, except unlike Sisyphus, not even Camus can argue that the otter is happy. I planned it that way; the despair is in his name.

Sometimes I feel like the otter. Sometimes I feel like the clam, or the rock. At this exact moment I feel like his tummy, which has as much hair on a square inch as we do on our entire heads. Zounds!

The despairing otter's tummy has a front-row seat to the drama that fails to unfold.

I still haven't found a publisher for my children's stories about him. See, the otter is so despair that he doesn't bother to wrap himself up with kelp to sleep. That night, he drifts away to have magical, horrible, magical adventures. He also learns the true meaning of something. The true, horrible meaning.

Otters were considered pests for a time in the history of America, and thus the Otterhound was invented. A dog bred for the sole purpose of hunting otter. A dog who woke up every day knowing exactly what it wanted to do. I envy the breed.

When I awake, I am obligated as an artist to ponder the true meaning of all things. Generally this results in my frequent tardiness. On occasion it may also result in
that tingly feeling in my hock, like I was supposed to do something or be somewhere (other than the thing I was actually supposed to be doing or being on a given morning).

Hunt otter? No, that was the otterhound. Break open clams with a rock and eat the fleshy innards? I suppose for a time, but I don't feel a particular passion for it. Besides, there is tons of competition now that otter hunting, with hound or otherwise, is quite illegal here in the lower 48.

The root of my suffering is my comfortable life. As an artist, there is a modicum of suffering hours that must be put in or I get kicked out. I am quite behind. A job I mostly enjoy, a nice home, a sweet family, and a belly full of clams.

It's all wrong.

Maybe not the clams.

After a stunning victory at the Battle of Chimay, the great hero, Lieutenant Raphael Clittorii was quoted as saying, "There is no higher act of patriotism than robbery."

Such a man. Sadly, his regiment did not participate in the last half of the war, after his troops followed him to hell. They have yet to come back.