Mental Self-Immolation

Brain on fire
This is the visualization of mental-self-immolation.

Where we continue our series about the origins and evolution of my bottomless pit of self-loathing. If you’ve missed any posts and you’re a pity-party completist, you can go back and see any of the posts from the last couple of weeks, including the last post, all about my dog’s suicide. Doesn’t that sound like fun!?!

T-Talentless. I’m not completely talentless, but my talents aren’t the type you can monetize. My naturally born talents are useless. I’m tall but I can’t jump or do anything requiring athleticism. Those talents I work on are all pretty useless. I can write, but so can your Aunt Hildegard, but worse, I can’t plot. I can juggle, but who wants to pay to see that? My breath apparently naturally smells like olives. Does anyone want to pay me to hyperventilate on them?

U-Urban. Part of my job is appealing in writing to grant making organizations. As part of that, I have to often write “urban youth.” The stigma in society is that the word “urban” is a handy substitute for “black people.” I am acutely aware of that and try to make sure I’m using it in the way that means “disadvantaged because they live in impoverished conditions in low-income settings.” It’s a weird line to walk and I feel like I’m still adding to the problem, because, no matter how often I tell myself about the intentions of my words, the recipient can read what I’m writing according to their own, probably racist, filter. While I put a lot of time into contextualizing my use of “urban,” the reader can easily substitute the word, “thug,” or “scary poor people of a darker shade.”

Yeah, that's about right.
Yeah, that’s about right.

V-Verbose Village Idiot. My curse is being able to express myself in vivid twists of language, but without a general filter between my brain and my mouth. Therein lies the trouble. Like everyone else, I have horrible thoughts, like, “I could grab that cop’s gun,” and like most others, I don’t act on those impulses. Buuuuut I sure do vocalize ’em! The only reason I’m married is that my spouse is so compatible with me that I said something inhumanly rude and my spouse, that exceptionally-wonderful-magic-maker laughed.

W-What are you doing? If I ever harbored entrepreneurial desires, it would be to start the business, “What Are You Doing?” It’s a filter service where people send their emails, Facebooks, tweets, etc. to before those are actually sent/posted. Simply so that, if those posts/correspondences are too emotionally fueled, a message would be returned with a voicemail that simply says in a condescending tone, “what are you doing?” No matter the response, the reply is, “Really? C’mon. What. Are ya’ doin’?”

Image Source
Image Source

Hopefully, learning this much about me is not so off-putting that you create a Yelp page devoted to reviews of my urinating in soups (please do that, bored people, please. I’m not a soup maker, so what do I care?).


Add yours →

  1. I write about “urban youth” too! Actually, now we tend to say at-risk youth, which is becoming the same “code.” Or disengaged/disconnected youth. Not the point, I know.


  2. I wrote grants for 9 months. I find myself lapsing into that language once in a while, but I’ve tried to banish it from my speech because it makes me sound creepy.

    It’s weird to routinely say, “Improving outcomes” instead of “Not committi8ng crimes and going to jail.”

    Someday, I’ll share my (tongue-in-cheek) “Bunnies for Babies” grant proposal with you. I never sent it out, but it would have raked in the private foundation cash.


  3. You do write well, Pickleope. But you can’t plot? Boo hoo. Just write PWP — porn without plot. Problem solved! You’re welcome.


  4. I’ve never done grant writing, but I’m sure it is an art, since many organizations will pay well to find someone who can do it effectively. I’m quite sure you are not giving yourself enough credit, my dear.


  5. abeerfortheshower April 27, 2015 — 9:20 am

    You say you can’t plot, but that short story in chunks that you posted a little while back seems to prove otherwise.

    And I’ve never written grants, but I do often appeal to the suburban youth to stop littering in my damn lawn.


  6. Where did you get the strange idea that you can’t plot. After reading your blog for this long, (causing me irreversible brain damage) I don’t believe you.


  7. Oh, shut up. You can plot.



  8. But we love you because you’re a Verbose Village Idiot, Pickleope Von Pickleope.


  9. Vivid twists of language… Well, I think you’re a language magician. There’s gotta be a way to turn that talent into cold cash.


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