I am a digressor. This is a major problem of mine: I am chronically digressed. I belong to Digressives Anonymous. The meetings are rotten because everyone digresses so much that we never get anywhere near Step One: “We admit we are powerless over digression, that our lives have become unmanageable.”
If you ask me, I think digression is genetic. My paternal grandfather was the greatest windbag I have ever known. The man knew absolutely nothing about everything, and he could talk about it for hours. God, I loved that man. He was a walking filibuster. He could bore the paint off walls, and snow would melt three times faster when he was talking while strolling down the sidewalk.
Lucky for me, I grew up to be just like him. I love to talk because I know nothing about everything too. Whenever I manage to corner someone I can cover ten or twelve subjects in no time flat. But therein lays the major problem: I bore people. I irk them. I make their eyes glassy and some become narcoleptic. I confuse them. Many, if not most, think I’m odd. I will admit to some amount of oddness, but not to the point where it shows.
This essay is a perfect example. It is not about digression, my grandfather, or my alleged oddness. It is about “Physician, heal thyself.” Or, since I am not a physician, it is about “Goofball, heal thyself.”
That’s pretty good advice to me because no one is going to fix my goofiness unless I do it. Oh, the pills help, but mainly they keep me from humping the furniture. No, it’s up to me, and me alone, to get in touch with my inner goof.
So that’s why I write this crap. It is affirming. It is cathartic. And most of all, I like to hear me write. If I have to suffer writing it then by gum, all of you are going to suffer with me by reading it.
Gee, that’s an oldie: “by gum.” I wonder what it means. Something to do with orthodontists? A Wrigley chewing gum ad misprint? The way they talk in old Westerns?
Ah, but I . . .
Because I am a digressive, spreading my goofiness willfully among the normal makes me a serial sociopath. But because my inner goofball tells me to do it, and because I listen to him, that makes me a serial psychopath instead.
Which reminds me of another psycho I met one time, a “recovering” drug addict. “Know what PISSES me off?” he shrieked in group therapy one day. “I just can’t HANDLE crystal meth like a NORMAL person! That shit makes me CRAZY!” Imagine, if you can, any normal person who smokes or injects a drug into their veins that consists of cooked Drano, WD-40, and cat piss. The guy was a psycho.
There I went again. Or did I? Now that I think about it, I have fixed me of some pretty darn big things. My alcoholism has been gone for over twenty years. All of the anger I had as a kid and a teen, all of the rage I had as a young adult, that really deep down kind of anger and rage, is gone. So is the shame, that really deep down kind of shame, that had me believing I was worthless as a human being.
My inner goof tells me that there is no sense in getting the vapors because I tend to run off the conversational track now and then. I have done a lot of fixing me over the years, so what’s a little harmless digression—save for boring people to death?
Hmm, “the vapors.” That’s a good one. I wonder what it means . . .
[The photo is a scan of my brain in goofball mode. No it isn't. It's a new bowling ball design. Did I ever tell you my bowling stories . . .]