Freudian Slips: 42 Years 288 Days

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 06, 2005

42 Years 288 Days

Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.
-Sigmund Freud.
It took me 42 years and 288 days to become an author. On February 5, 2005 The Mastocytosis Chronicles, published my non-fiction short story, Wish I Could Be like Superman. It is about a single day in my life. It details how a Mastocytosis patient’s life intersected with Christopher Reeve on the day Superman died. After 43 years in writer’s exile, a copy arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday. Stop the press! I haven’t really told people about being published until now but my whole life as a scribe led up to this pinnacle of publication. When Wish I Could Be Like Superman published, this was a proud moment in my life. I would rank it right after marriages and birth of children on a Top Ten List. I might even consider nudging the moment ahead of the ink and parchment of my two college degrees. The only person whom I expressed my joy to barked, “They are only publishing it because you have the disease.” So let me keep it real. I will say quietly what it is with no ringing endorsements or nominations for a Pulitzer Prize. Writer’s write about what they know. Some write about what they don’t know and can get away with it. My prose barely scrapes by on the little I know about this life. I cannot change the diagnosis of my disease nor should I feel shame in writing about a medical condition that has forever changed my life. I confess that The Mastocytosis Chronicles is a newsletter. It requires not a bindery, any office stapler will make do. I also admit that the newsletter doesn’t appear on a newsstand but I don’t need a display case to make me savor the moment. The Mastocytosis Chronicles is a mailer variety and one has to pay their dues to get it. You need a peculiar skin disease called Mastocytosis, a rare disease that when spelled incorrectly spell check assumes you are trying to write “mustachioed.” Hence the newsletter’s circulation is only 500 people worldwide but it didn’t waver my enthusiasm. It has been pointed out to me that I wasn’t paid for my hard work but that doesn’t make a dent in my sense of accomplishment. It didn’t even make the front page of The Mastocytosis Chronicles. I am buried towards the back in pages 20-23 but I rest my laurels in that my name is in the byline. It is enough reinforcement for me to go on writing. The suppression of events weighed heavy on my mind as I took my son to Boy Scouts. His Webelos troop visited a nearby Boy Scout troop. We attended Troop 54 in Lindenwold, who do scouting in an indoor outpost with no climate control. As I walked into the shell of the building, I saw a scout leader tending a fireplace. Entering the smoldering fire was a copy of the Courier Post newspaper article Eagles Fan Dreams of Filling Big Hole in Sports Shrine(See Blog posting XXXIX), an article about me. I saw my picture crinkle and burst into flames. I watched myself being cremated in the cruelest of ironies. So ended another day in the crowded halls of irony. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats on your first byline, i am sure there will be many more in your future

3:18 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

Joe,

Well, I'll be buying up every copy of the The Mastocytosis Chronicles (they are at the news-stand at Borders right?).

As for the fireplace...it could have been worse, back in the old days they wrapped fish with newspaper.

You know I am kidding. Congratz!

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person who uttered the asinine statement , “They are only publishing it because you have the disease,” was probably just having a bad day. You know the type of people I'm thinking of......"the ones"...... who, at times, take out their frustrations on others so that they can feel good about what and who they are themselves. Congratulations on your first publication and don't let the disparaging remarks of others deter your endeavors to succeed. Post by ET

7:42 AM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

JT,
Congradulations! Guess you can now be the chairman of our version of the Algonquin round table. Yeah, we really meet in a bar in Philadelphia, so what. Cheers!

1:11 PM  

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