M  i  l    M  a  n  i  a


        The Official Newsletter of WWW.ARTISTINSANE.COM



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All Content Written By Mil Scott Unless Otherwise Noted

© Mil Scott                                                                                                                             www.artistinsane.com

Welcome To The February
Issue of Mil Mania!

Volume 3, Issue 2, February 2007


Music Mayhem

As noted in the December 2005 edition of Mil Mania, I continue to include news in every issue to keep readers up to date on the latest happenings with the three acts most prominently featured on www.artistinsane.com. However, I now also choose one additional artist — in some cases a new discovery I’ve recently made, in others an individual or group whose work I’ve long appreciated — to make a one-time appearance here.  And, as with all aspects of Mil Mania, feel free to offer suggestions.


This month’s featured artist…


Prince  — From the mo
ment of its inception there
was never a doubt Prince
would turn up in this col-
umn; it was only a question
of when.  Given this month
marked his first appearance
as a Super Bowl halftime act...and that the bulk of this performance featured hits from his 80’s breakthrough film and soundtrack
Purple Rain, now seems a doubly appropriate time to discuss this genius some may be surprised to learn proved one of my earliest and most enduring artistic influences. 

     I will never forget that first viewing of Purple Rain — or the subsequent 6 more within the next few days.  Although the concept may seem hugely obvious to one coming to a film of this kind in later life, as a teen I found this example of how a love for writing, acting and music might all be combined into one artsy, entertaining, and still moving finished product a liberating and exciting experience — one which I have no doubt strongly influenced the fact my screenplay Taking the Fall, written many years later, turned out to be (although a very different story) one that likewise includes live music performances that serve as key monologues advancing the script.  And, of course, from a musical perspective, Prince certainly set a pretty high bar of inspiration in terms of quality, innovation — and productivity.  With regard to the last of these, incidentally, I couldn't help scoffing at the smug TV commentators expressing the ignorant assumption Prince’s choice to share “classic” material indicated there was little else recorded since.  As most of you reading this probably know, he’s in fact he’s among the most prolific artists of the last two decades, a trend that continues with a collection of new songs just released in 2006.

     For more info and all the latest music mayhem pertaining to Prince visit  www.prince.org. 



Third Eye Blind is back with a vengeance — despite the fact their long-awaited 4th album still doesn’t boast an official release date...or even a best-guess clue as to when recording of it might actually be completed.  With their characteristic “knock ‘em down” attitude, the band is nonetheless forging ahead with two (already sold-out) shows in San Francisco to mark the 10th anniversary of their debut album, and following these up with a larger East Coast tour...including a date at an Easton, PA college which is about 20 minutes away from me!!!  You bet I’m eagerly awaiting ticket info and hope to be in the audience when this show takes place in April.

     In the meantime, as always visit Jen’s SJ.com and The Village Churchyard for more news, tour dates, and all things 3eb.


Brian Fitzpatrick continues work on his own long awaited new album — and recently announced that he’s been tapped to create the cover art for Michael McDermott’s next release Noise From Words, due out later this spring!!!  It’s always a joy to me when these two favorite artists and great friends join forces and I can’t wait to hear — and see — both CD’s when they at last hit stores. 

     Before that, however, you can check out Brian’s music at two shows just announced for March….be sure to visit his page at myspace.com for all the details.


Michael McDermott played two shows in IL recently, both to excellent reviews, with more scheduled throughout the rest of Feb., March and early April.  Check the McD setlists page of artistinsane.com and Michael’s myspace for more info about past and upcoming dates, respectively.  And, you can catch a video clip from a short 2/23 TV appearance here .
     Also, music from the upcoming album
Noise From Words has begun receiving airplay on Chicago radio station WXRT, as well as on longtime Philadelphia McDermott supporter, WXPN.

     Beyond that, there’s little new to report, I’m afraid...except that  it seems Monday Morning Madness has been discontinued (I don’t know if that’s official, only that no new songs have debuted in 2007— Michael, if you’re reading, yes that is a HINT!!!  And, while I’m at it here’s another:  East Coast show dates SOON).



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Ravings of a Mad Woman

This column corresponds with the Mad Ra-vings On section of www.artistinsane.com, and is dedicated to selected reviews of movies, television and books… most of which are unlikely to represent “the latest” in any of these categories, but rather a  random selection that represents a new and/or noteworthy discovery to me.

Sense and Sensibility  I have to say that although I only recently saw this more than decade-old film for the first time — and absolutely loved it — the fact I’d just reviewed another Jane Austen-based work a couple months back made me hesitant to cover this one so soon after.  Upon learning the question posed by a reader in the “Molly Madvises” column at right deals with the conflict of “heart” vs “head”, however, it became hard to resist reviewing in the same issue a film whose tagline was “lose your heart and come to your senses”.  Of course, the fact it’s a prior Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay (and nominee for 6 others) likewise makes it an appropriate choice for discussion during the current awards season ...especially since I firmly believe it easily stands up to — and quite arguably surpasses — many of the films recognized by the Academy in more recent years.

     That said, I must agree the category in which it won is that wherein lies its greatest strength.  Although exceedingly well acted, and inherently entertaining in typical Austen fashion, the superior script is evident again and again as one watches and hears events unfold...the latter sense mentioned here as the film features throughout especially effective dialogue; not only is it true to the period and concise in conveying all necessary information, it falls upon one’s ears as a well played piece of music, tugging at the heartstrings while challenging one’s sensibility as we wish for outcomes that seem so desirable... and yet time and again so unfortunately out of sync.

     For those unfamiliar with the story, complications are set up early; the film opens with the death of Mr. Dashwood, who has left instructions for his son and sole heir (by virtue of his sex) to take care of the Dashwood daughters...half-sisters to the son having been born to Mr. Dashwood’s second wife.  Although the young Dashwood is at first quite willing to carry out his father’s wishes, the influence of a selfish and socially ambitious wife quickly erodes his feelings of generosity to the minutest sense of duty.  The daughters (and their mother) are therefore left close to penniless and turned out of their home, which the son and his wicked witch of a wife waste no time in taking over.

     Given this information, it takes little effort to imagine the horror and scheming that ensue when the witch’s brother (who is a refreshing opposite to his sister in every way) becomes friendly with the Dashwood sisters, and particularly so with one of them.    Add to the mix an apparently sincere suitor to another and the interests of yet another man for this same woman, and the stage is set for dreams come true — or bright hopes “dashed”.

     Of course, this is an Austen work and no matter how seemingly insurmountable the obstacles,  we know harmony will at last be restored.  But the tortuous path by which this end is reached makes for a very eventful journey.   And, when we have such engaging company as Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and (my personal favorite in this instance) Alan Rickman to guide us along the way, I can only in retrospect question my lack of “sense” in letting so many years pass before I sought out for myself this delightful “Sensibility”.


Little Miss Sunshine  While I think the above a superior film to this one, since I have a bit of additional space here and a family member loaned me a copy on DVD just days ago, I thought I’d share a few words on what (you’ll already know by the time you read this) may or may not be an Oscar winner itself.  As I continue to wrestle with its worthiness for consideration on the eve of the ceremony, however, I’m torn by conflicting impressions.  Undoubtedly, there’s something to be said for a film rife with negative occurrences which manages to leave the viewer feeling wholly positive when the credits roll.  And, there are at least a few examples of very good writing , perhaps most notably when a seemingly insignificant act by one character sets up a full-blown crisis for another.  On the down side, though, there are far too many notes that ring false for me throughout.  Still, at its best this story of a dysfunctional family with divergent goals becomes a celebration of “daring to fail gloriously”...one which illustrates that although there’s no excuse allowable when it comes to settling for mediocrity, there’s no excuse needed for just being who you are.  Amen.








                                   If you missed the announcement in the
December 2006 issue, as per the precedent
                         set by
Dear Abby which syndicated column
MOLLY    retained that title when passing to its origin- 
ator’s daughter , so this column will retain the name of its  originator now that
Molly has passed on.  The “madvice” currently offered herein, therefore, is that of Keela, one of the “noisy neighbors” Molly spoke of frequently — and who you may have already met via the photo collection taken during her pregnancy and in the weeks after her fifteen babies were born.  Needless to say, with that kind of experience, Keela, like Molly, knows a bit about life as learned by her adventures as a rodent single mom.  Also like Molly, she has a strong mind of her own with much rat wisdom to share.  I hope you’ll enjoy her commentary both now and in the months to come. 


That said, on to this month’s question...


    “Happy Valentine's Day, Keela!
     On this day in which we celebrate our love and affection for one another, be it with flowers and sweets, heartfelt sentiments etched in lovely greeting cards, or time spent with someone special, I have
on my mind a thought of a most uninspiring energy.   Might I share with you a question on...the EGO?
     In researching the late Sri Swami Satchidananda I learned that he is one of the most revered Yoga Masters of our time.  His Holiness is known for his practical wisdom and spiritual insight as well as his
intent for all to find abiding peace within life and our self. 
     In one of Swami's lectures (explained in Wayne Dyer's 2006 ‘Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling’), he spoke of the collective ego and the relentless rule that it has on us all.  He noted the words ‘heart’ and ‘head’ as identifiers of Spirit and ego, respectively.  He further noted that both words are made up of two words:  heart = he and art, which leads to the thought that he and his art create the heart.  Then there is:  head = he and ad, and thus in thought he and his ad create his head.  Swami concluded that the head is indeed an advertisement—it is ego looking for recognition — and that we must not allow its rule.  He said we need to let what is in our heart lead our way and the head will follow.
     Why do we set aside one day out of the year, today, Valentine's Day to uninhibitedly release what is in our hearts?  What claim does ego have in us not doing so the rest of the days?  How do we best squash ego to find the peace within that Swami connected to effortlessly?  And, well, with one more thought Swami made that does bring this ramble to a full-circle Valentine's Day close, he asked why it is that lovers call each other "sweetheart" and not "sweethead"?


P.S .  I am not bashing this beautiful day by any means.  I love this day and all the emotion it creates."


                                                        Headed in the Heart Direction


     Well, it’s only my second month of “madvising” and already I find myself wishing I could ask the far more worldly-wise Molly for a bit of help.  In fact, this question has provided so much to chew on it’s been days since I even nibbled on the mineral log in our aquarium or helped my sisters and the kids cut new passageways through any of our cardboard boxes. Worse yet, all this thinking made me so hungry that the more I re-read your question trying to get my own head around these matters of he-ad and he-art, the more I focused instead on just the name Swami Satchidinanda.  And, as I repeated the two parts of it separately they kept making me think how “Swami” starts with the same sound as “sweet potato” and that “Satchi-dinanda” reminded me how much I like banandas — uh, I mean, bananas — and I just seemed to keep getting more and more and more and more confused.

     Finally, though, I’ve come up with a few ideas that might not answer exactly what you’re looking to find out, but that do kind of relate to the incom...wait, it’s a big word, but I know I heard Mom use it in a sentence so remember what it means...oh yes, incom...rat...ibility of ego and true love.  
     First, when you broke down heart into “he” and “art” that reminded me of the beautiful book
A Rat’s Tale, where it says “‘art’ and ‘rat’ are made up of the same letters”.  And, I thought how the artist rat Montague in that story is so full of love and peace and so beautifully without ego.   And, then, I got to thinking what other words “ego” might be broken down to.  But, all I came up with was that it sounds a little like when Mom and Dad first brought me home and I was really scared and kept shrieking a sound sort of like “E”! And, I remembered how much I fought to be let “GO”.  I still haven’t the foggiest notion where I might have “gone”, but the association made me realize that part of the whole ego thing as a need for “he” to “ad”vertise his value or whatever does seem to play a bit into fear...maybe fear that if one bears his heart — that is, if “he” shows his “art”—  it might not be accepted in exactly the way “he” hopes...just as poor Monty’s “art” wasn’t (at first) accepted as “he” had hoped...and how self-loathing was the result (at first) inspired in him toward himself and his own “art”...not to mention the fear also inspired that “he” didn’t have anything to “ad”vertise his “value” and thereby convince Isabel why maybe she should love him.

     If hu-men (and hu-women) feel that way...and spend a lot more time doing so than Monty did — I guess that could explain why they want to only take the risk of showing their “he” (or “she) “art”s on only one day of the year. Thankfully, I’ve found through firsthand experience that there are hu-men and hu-women who do take this risk more often — even by showing their he-arts to he- and she- rats...and it seems to me these are the hu-people whose she- and he-arts also know the greatest peace.

     But that still leaves the last couple of your questions to consider.  And, the one about how do we “squash ego” (...mmm, squash….what a lovely vegetable — oh, wait, where was I?)...well, that one I think is pretty easy.  At least, as soon as I read your letter I know I was reminded of a quote by that Shakespeare hu-man Mom loves, “To thine own self be true”.  That’s what we’re told kept Montague from allowing the bad “ad” “he” had been given by someone else’s mixed up head to keep him sad for very long.  And, it turns out being true to his rat-istic/artistic nature ended up turning even the hearts and heads of others around, and squashing (at least to some degree) their egos, too.

     The matter of “sweet-heart” not “sweet-head”, though, still has me gnawing away at it...because the only thing that keeps coming to mind is a quote in Mom’s “Writings From The Asylum” novel’s  Prologue , where the girlfriend says, “...it’s the soul that Cupid really puts his mark on.  The ‘one’ isn’t known as a ‘heart-mate’ now, is it?”   And, the problem, of course, is that brings in a whole ‘nother place from which a hu-man, hu-woman, he-art or he-ad might be led and/or touched by love...a place Buddhist teachings’ “doctrine of no soul” says doesn’t even exist!&*!^*! 

     So, with my own head spinning, I’ve decided that just as Isabel did fall for the beautiful “he-art” Monty shared to win this “she-rat”, the only thing that matters is one recognizes and values love — and when it comes along, not to let fear make us shriek “‘E!’ or Let me ‘GO’”!!! 
     Happy Valentine’s Day (
every day).  With love...                                         

                       Molly Madvises 

         (now by Molly’s neighbor Keela)








Comments from Mil Mania readers
             on the January issue...

In A Nutshell

  Writings From The Asylum


“...filled with many interesting tidbits once again!!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

   “John Waite? Wow!  Me too — going back to my pre-teen days.  John and his then band The Babys were the opener for my first real rock concert, which was Alice Cooper!  What in the world were my and my friend's parents thinking to have let us gone to such an ‘event’?!  Thinking about it now. oh, my!
   Going some issues back, I LOVED Cyndi Lauper in the 80s and I can't even tell you how much grief I got for having an Escape Club album (yes, vinyl) in my collection.   Always looking forward to who you'll profile in Mayhem.  Stirs some great memories.”


Text Box:         As always, feel free to drop by 
                      my “space” at


     Tom has 153,116,617 friends.

     Just over a year ago I used this column to offer the humorous explanation for my social – uh, inadequacies – as attributable to my name (“If You Think Names Don’t Matter, Yours Isn’t Mildred”).  And, again I have to express how very much I appreciated the flood of complimentary chastisement I received in response (noting Mildred not at all a bad name and reassuring me that at least some who know me pretty well don’t think me nearly so socially inept as I know I am).

     Once again, however, I’ve been uncomfortably reminded of this topic via my…shall I say singular status in a very large, and largely friendly, social community:  myspace.com.

     But, let me back up a bit to explain.  I’ve always rather enjoyed game shows that involve knowledge to some degree...perhaps because they put to use the solitary occupation of reading…by engaging in yet another solitary occupation:  watching other social misfits’ triumphs and defeats made public.  Jeopardy!, for example, has been a favorite for years – despite the fact that sprinkled among the not infrequent opportunity to put a love of literature to use in various categories there also appear questions in such topics as Antarctica, astronomy and opera…the last of which I realize involves primarily Latin, but nonetheless remains almost entirely Greek to me.

     Be that as it may, I’ve come to rather enjoy the primetime trivia challenge, One vs. One Hundred….which, interestingly, for a time included former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings.  Or, I should say, I enjoyed it until one evening not so long ago when the following question appeared:  “Who automatically becomes your first friend on the popular website, myspace.com?”  The answer, as you almost surely know if you have a myspace profile, is “Tom”.   As most of you also know, I have a myspace profile.  What I’ve never had, however, is a myspace friend named Tom.

     This is despite the fact, I must point out, that when I got the idea for this article Tom had the truly staggering number of friends noted at the top of this page.   Midway through its writing that number has changed.  Now Tom has 158,502,860 friends…i.e. over 5 million more.

     Friends of mine (by all manner of other names themselves) have (or at some point had) this Tom among their friends.    Not aware that Tom is in fact the creator and head honcho, if you will, of the entire site, some were less than pleased at his audacity in adopting them.  One even went so far as to fill out his “Who I’d Like To Meet” section with the words, “that [explitive deleted] Tom who became my first friend here, and consequently my first enemy.”  I’m not sure why he felt a need to be so harsh; Tom looks…well, “friendly” enough, in his profile.  Still, there’s a part of me that does admire the confidence of this assertion, not to mention a part of me that envies the privilege of choice in turning this potential friend away.  After all, in my case, I didn’t even know Tom existed and he still somehow knew enough about me to not ask I befriend him.   

     What’s worse, in this case I can’t blame it on my name.  Having learned from experience I made sure to sign up by the alias of my website moniker, “Artist Insane”.  Okay, I can see how advertising that one’s crazy might not be perceived as a fast-track ticket to popularity. Knowing Tom started the site primarily for music groups, however, and lists under “Favorites” on his own profile one called “Rocket From The Crypt” of all things, somehow I don’t think my relatively harmless-sounding identity was ever a factor.  Besides, I later changed it to simply “Mil Scott” and still never received any friend requests from Tom.  Apparently, there’s another reason “Mildred Has Been Skypt”.

     Ah well, I’ve always proudly professed “normal people worry me”.  But then, being socially inept pretty much all people worry me…especially if it means having to meet them face to face – or worse yet talk with them on the phone.   Of course, Tom never had to do either for me to set up an account on his network…which means apparently I emanate something so offputting it transcends even the world wide web.  How comforting.

     To tell you the truth, though, I don’t really care as much as it might seem that I have a couple-hundred-thousand-times fewer friends than this guy Tom.  Heck, I have enough trouble trying to stay reasonably connected via e-mail to the relatively small number I have been blessed with (and genuinely enjoying hearing from). Imagine how indeed “crazy” Tom must think he’s going sometimes keeping up with his.

     Then again, clearly Tom is crazy…at least if one defines that by the standards of the old Apple commercial that says, “the people crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”.   After all, given the number of Tom’s friends corresponds with the number of myspace profiles in existence (well, minus an obvious one…), he’s made a pretty significant dent in changing online communication by bringing many divergent individuals (even social misfits) together…much like art itself has done in varying degrees throughout history  – something it’s hoped in some small way this very “Artist Insane” has a part in, too.   When you look it at from that perspective, I suppose Tom and I do share a connection – whether he likes it or not.   And, in the spirit of artistic unity – well, just maybe…I forgive him.

     By the way, as of a minute ago when I checked again, Tom now has 158,730,736 friends – that is, plus or minus one.   His call...or I expect more likely — not. 


Temporary Insanity








"You don't become a champion just by winning for yourself.  It's what you do for others that makes you special, makes you great.”                                                                                               
               Edgar Prado,  jockey of the late
                             (great) racehorse, Barbaro


                                               Clearly this month’s
                                       issue is so chock-full of
                                      “stuff”, there’s next to no
                                       room left for an intro-
                                       duction.  That said, I’ll let
                                       the various tidbits of
                                       madness and mayhem
                                       speak for themselves. 
                                       One thing I do want to
                                       add, however, is a con-
                                       grats to the Indianapolis Colts on their Super Bowl win earlier this month. As noted in Jan. my favorite NFL player is Peyton Manning — has been, in fact, since his first year in the league.  Given that means I waited nine years to see him reach this milestone, what are the odds it should happen against a team representing the city where I have more friends than any other outside my home region?!*&*! (and is close enough to Indy to have likely rooted for them with me under any other circumstance)  Needless to say, I’m therefore by no means gloating — just pointing out that patience really is rewarded...and vowing to cheer on “da Bears” next time they make it to “da Bowl”.  

      Happy reading.                               

                 Newsletter Spotlight                

As introduced in the first issue of Mil Mania, this column presents the latest chapter in the “prequel” to my screenplay, Taking the Fall. While the script picks up four years after the suicide of the main character (Joshua Gray)’s girlfriend, the novel begins with that act itself, and the portion shared here continues to document events taking place in the weeks after the funeral…(you can catch up on prior chapters by viewing back issues on the Mil Mania Sign-up page).



  The Leap to Limbo (tentative title),     Chapter 13  “Seattle Bound”                


     After a sixteen hour ride interrupted only for the briefest breaks to switch drivers and re-fuel, Josh half fell out of the van in the Seattle Best Western parking lot. With so many drivers aboard and in the interest of saving cash, it had been agreed they would make the entire trip from L.A. to Seattle without an overnight stop in Portland as he and Chris had originally planned.   As he made his way to the sidewalk while trying to rub a cramp out of his left calf, he mused vaguely that he must resemble Richard III stumbling around Bosworth Field offering his kingdom for a horse – a mode of transportation, he thought ruefully, that might have proved more comfortable than the “chariot” from which he’d just emerged.  It also would most likely have smelled better than nine guys eating and sleeping in such tight quarters for the better part of a day and night.  Josh felt sorry for poor Henderson; undoubtedly the rat had proved the neatest passenger aboard, probably because he spent about half the trip washing himself from nose to tail before repeating the process all over again – a self-containment Josh envied as he sank to the concrete longing for a very long hot shower.

     A similar confusion to that which started their journey was now being re-enacted beside the van, as Tommy too late discovered that loading the equipment after the luggage may not have proved the most practical approach.  Chris and his band had already disembarked with their duffel bags, taking seats on the sidewalk themselves to watch the show.  It didn’t take much to amuse such an audience at such an hour, and Tommy’s frustration quickly escalated as chuckles and “helpful” comments were tossed back and forth until Chris wisely suggested that the others go check in.   Reluctantly, they rose and headed toward the lobby.  Chris watched them disappear inside, then wandered over to flop down beside Josh, lowering the adapted helmet/pet carrier in which a tightly tucked in Henderson slept soundly to the pavement between his knees. 

     “Maybe we should just play a gig here.  It looks like your band’s gonna be all set up by the time Tommy gets his suitcase out of there.”

     “I’m just afraid he’s gonna stuff Randy in a suitcase before he finds it in that mess.” 

      “Ow! That’s my hair!” Randy shouted as Tommy worked beside him to free the end of a zippered bag from the disorganized pile at the back of the van.

     “If you’d get out of the frickin’ way,” Tommy retorted, “your precious hair could be in bed by now.”

     Chris stifled a laugh to prevent further aggravation.  “All I can say is if the record deal doesn’t pan out for them, they’ve got a serious shot of making it in comedy.” 

     “Yeah,” Josh agreed, “provided Tommy doesn’t end up on a Dateline episode called ‘The Keyboard Killer’.”

       “How ’bout it.  Of course, that could work to your advantage, no?”  Chris nonchalantly segued. “If that text message from Allison today meant what I think it did.  Maybe you wouldn’t mind if Tommy – uh, went away, for a while, eh?”

     “Maybe I should just go rob a bank so I could go away for a while.  Could solve a lot of problems.”

     “Yeah, and it wouldn’t create any new ones or anything, right?  But it would give you plenty of time to write more songs you don’t want to record, anyway.”

     “Je—s,” Josh shot back, “you on Tommy’s payroll now or what?  Yesterday you want to be my touchy-feely therapist and tonight you’re breaking my balls.  It’s way too late at night for a conversation about traveling all the way across the country when that’s pretty much what it feels like we did today.”

     “It’s always way too late – or way too early, or you’re way too drunk, or some other sh—.  It’s gonna be too late, period, if you don’t get off your ass in some direction.  And, somehow I don’t think starting this thing with Allison is a direction you really want to go. “

     “You think, Chris?  That’s a brilliant F-Sherlock deduction.  I didn’t plan to start anything with Allison.  I didn’t even plan to see her last night, or next week or any specific point down the road.  My neighbor wasn’t home and somebody had to look after Sultan.  I didn’t exactly have this great variety of choices.”

     “It seems to me you kind of make sure you never do.”

     “What the hell does that mean?”

     “It means,” Chris continued, “you always choose the hard way – and not because it’s the right way.  For some reason you seem to want to make the – very few – easy ways in life next to impossible.   Why the f—are you screwing around with Allison? Why couldn’t you just drop the cat off and leave?”

     “I don’t know,” Josh replied in a level tone.  “I have absolutely no idea.” His tone changed, irritation creeping in.  “But what do you care, anyway?”

     “Because when I’d ask you what the f— you were doing with Julie way back in the beginning of time and you’d say ‘I don’t know’ the next thing we knew you ended up here.   Maybe this time you should try to come up with a better answer.”

     “Sh—, you’re moving way too fast for me,” Josh shook his head and looked away.  “It was just one night.  One absentee-brain night, I admit, but still…”

     “Ah, jeez, don’t give me that crap.  Would this “one night” have ended the same way if your neighbor had been home?  You couldn’t have just dropped the cat off and left him with her either, I suppose.”

     Josh looked down, barely mumbling his response “My neighbor isn’t Allison.”

     “Exactly.  She’s not your ex-girlfriend’s best friend, who’s got a history of all kinds of screwed up issues with men…which is how she became your ex-girlfriend’s best friend.  That is, your ex-girlfriend who killed herself was the sane one who actually helped this best friend get her life ‘together’.  Yeah, this is a very sound choice in turning your own life around.   Way to go, rock star.”

     Josh rose and began to retort angrily when he realized the van door had just slammed shut and Tommy was heading in their direction, his suitcase lifted above his head in triumph.  Mission accomplished, and maybe a bit punch drunk from fatigue, his good humor seemed fully restored as he offered a good-natured “Heads up” before playfully heaving the bag toward Josh.  Chris quickly shielded Henderson’s helmet from the incoming missile, clucking like a mother hen. 

    “Hey, watch the delicate cargo, would you?”

     Josh, who had instinctively caught the bag, offered a half-hearted grin and remained silent.  There was no question he’d been caught much less off-guard by it than he’d been by Chris’s comments, and he tried vainly to sort out whether they represented an equally accurate throw or just a lot of hot air coming from left field.  All he knew was that his determination to keep the night with Allison a secret really had nothing to do with Tommy potentially dating her.  Instead it had everything to do with him…with Julie…who they together might have been…who he needed the others to see him as…and who he really was – or wasn’t – now.

     Whoever that might be.  Damned if he knew.

     Suddenly it didn’t seem at all a coincidence that as he stood in a dark parking lot in a strange city, he just happened at that moment to be carrying a load of baggage.   He heaved the case back to Tommy – wishing fervently as he watched it go that he might with equal ease unload the rest.              


Text Box:    A slightly re-worked tale of Molly’s adoption, the arrival of her boys’ Noonan and Flannery, and the subsequent addition of her “noisy neighbors” has been selected for publication on the Happy Endings page of www.petrats.org — the official site of “The Rat Lady”, Debbie Ducommun.  Watch for this (complete with photos) to be published soon.
Text Box: Check out a brand new section                       
  just added to artistinsane.com:

“Mil’s Menagerie”

...featuring a brief history of my various animal experiences, including photos of past and current pets — dogs, cats, rats, horses and more!

Happy Valentine’s Day









(a wee bit late!)