Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?

I have nightmares. Every night.

You kind of expect that from a bloke like me, I guess. The guy who writes the scary stories. Nightmares must be part of the job description, right?

nightmare1Well, they aren’t just nightmares.

They are night terrors. I have had them since I was five years old. They are recurrent. They make me sweat; when I wake up, my pillows are soaked with perspiration. It’s uncomfortable, to say the very least.

And they terrify me.

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I’d rather have a bottle in front me than have to have a Hobby Lobby-otomy.

bush

There are those who are constantly super-pissed about some political issue going on in this country. How do you do that? How do you keep up the energy to remain so mad, all the time? Is there some kind of Lazarus Pit of hate y’all draw from? Is there a purity to your depth of patriotism that I’m not privy to? Or do you just like to argue?

HL1I’ve only been talking about this whole Hobby Lobby thing for a couple of days, and I’m over it. Exhausted. Done. I would much rather talk shitty movies and horror stories than get involved in gigantic slabs of political polemic.

Besides… no one seems to be mad about what I’m mad about, which makes it frustrating for me. There’s something more nefarious going on here than a woman’s right to behave as she sees fit sexually and whether or not an insurance company should be forced to pay for that. There’s something going on that affects everyone, regardless of gender or behavior.

They’re taking our language.

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The existential dread of Mondays, Part I: The helplessness of Internet friends.

I’ve always believed that friends are where you find them, especially in the Internet age. I have a lot of friends that I consider to be very close that I’ve never met in real life. I’ve Tweeted them. I’ve talked to them on Skype. But I’ve never shaken their hands or been able to smell their cologne or perfume. I don’t think that matters. The internet allows you to cut through that bullshit and get to the heart of the matter. When all you have is conversation, your on a direct road into someone’s brain. From the brain to the heart is not a long trip. And you can tell a faker or a tourist just as well online as you can in real life.

That’s what I think, anyway. I’ve never been catfished. I would like to think I can tell the difference between a real person and a person who wants to be real.

Having said that, someone that I believe to be real is having chemotherapy for the first time today. Because Mondays don’t suck bad enough, right? This woman has always been exceeding kind to me. She’s a fantastic writer, and she’s given Jim Branscome and I good, helpful notes on the scripts we’ve sent her for peer review. She always seems to want us to do well. She’s also incredibly funny, and seems to get my random, poorly timed jokes better than most.

I hate that she is going through this. I’m angry that something as small as cells can rebel against someone, turn against their host and become something dark and festering. I’m frustrated that words do not and can not make things better. I’m mad that I am here and she is there; that I can’t bring my whole family together and show up at the hospital with terrible things like sparkly shoes and 80’s wigs and cake and a shitty Michael Bay movie, and that we can’t hang out with her family and get to know each other while all this other bullshit goes down.

I am daunted by distance and by knowing just enough, but not enough.

I hope she’s reading this. If nothing else, I hope someone is reading it to her. I hope someone tells her that a lot of people think she’s brave, and that a sense of humour is the best thing to have in a situation like this. I hope someone is doing her makeup. I have reasons to believe that all these things are happening, and I am pleased by that.

I hope, also, that someone tells her there a lot of people online who think she’s real, and are thinking about her. Wishing nothing but good things for her. Ready to see her survive.

We’re writers. We tell stories, even when they’re difficult to tell. I’ve been reading the blog.
I’m looking forward to a few years from now, when the book comes out.

 

Pardon me, do you have any sorts? I seem to be out of them.

I had a birthday this past Sunday. I turned… an age. Everybody was cool about it, didn’t bring numbers into it all.
Except my dad.

My dad kept reminding me how old I am all throughout the phone call we had. I wasn’t sure if he was amazed I have lived as long as I have, or if he was amazed he lived to see me be this old. Regardless, he sang “Happy Birthday” to me while playing his ukelele. I don’t care how old you are: that’s pretty awesome.

AmbroseI got a video game for my birthday from the young’uns. It seems like an odd thing for a man my age to receive, but fuck. John Carpenter spends his time playing Dead Space 3 and watching basketball. I could do worse. Besides, they got me the WWE 2013 game. And it’s fun as hell. I could spend days playing that damned thing. I guess I have done that for a couple days anyway.

I love pro wrestling. I don’t have any guilt. I love to play the game, I love to watch the shows, I’ll go see it live, I don’t care. I know more about the history of that particular thing than I do most things.

Wrestling. Horror movies. World religions.

Even to me, I seem odd. In a lot of ways, I’m still coming to terms with myself. Maybe I’m the embodiment of the New South; still clinging to the old ways, like watching NWA legacy families rise through the ranks of WWE, a distinctively Northern company, yet embracing the new ways, like computer technology and not lynching people because they’re a little bit different.

It’s that weird feeling of being half a step behind that plagues me. A little off kilter. Dancing to the wrong beat.

The part of my brain in charge of writing feels like hot Silly Putty, a little melty and weird. It still is what it is, and knows what it is designed to do, but it’s not quite up to doing it yet. I need to absorb things for a while, not constantly put out, like a cheerleader with horrible self-esteem and an amazing reputation.

I haven’t had to do anything. And I haven’t done anything. It’s a weird feeling. Puts me out of sorts.
Yet I understand that a pitcher that does not get refilled will have nothing to pour out.

So I’m refilling. Might be a couple days, might be a few weeks. Who knows? I don’t. I can’t predict this shit.

Gotta go find my sorts.

 

In defense of “Motherf***er.”

A minor kerfuffle started on Twitter last night. Nothing huge, mind you, but it was enough to make me think about words and language and stuff.

samOne of my Twitter friends was complaining because he had a moment of realization: that most of the people he followed on Twitter were “cynical motherfuckers.” Someone replied that any male tweeter who has a child can rightfully be called a “motherfucker.” I, too, have thought this, and responded that I fuck a mother as often as I can. Which I do. My wife’s daughter is eighteen.

My wife is a mother. She is also hot. We have sex. Therefore, I am a motherfucker.

For some reason, this made everyone else in the conversation feel “icky.”

How does sex still make adults, presumably non-virgins, feel weird? I understand not wanting to have the mental image of my hot wife and I going at it, but I wanted a little more information from my Tweeps. I asked why that admission made people feel weird. The only response I got was that it sounded like I was hanging out in gynecologists’ offices, hoping to get lucky. “Hey, gurl, how’d that ultrasound go? Wanna try my pre-natal vitamins? Come on, get in my mini-van.”

I find myself unsatisfied with this answer.

I want to know why it’s not okay to use “motherfucker” in a positive fashion.

After all, we’re the society that embraced the concept of the MILF (Mother I’d Like to Fuck). There is (or was) a television show called “Cougar Town,” which is about older women, who have had children, hooking up with younger men. Remember the song “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne? It was a hit, this song, this ode to having sex with women who have kids. In fact, I would say there’s a bit of societal pressure to, in fact, be a motherfucker.

Not your mom, obviously. Your mother is a pristine untouched woman, who can’t be sullied by such things as secretions and bodily fluids, right? If someone says they’re going to fuck your mom, that becomes a reason for violence and anger. It’s an insult. This hearkens back to a time when Motherhood got the capital “M.” It was a calling, something to be honored and sainted for. Everyone who gave birth was placed on a pedestal. You get your own day, you get your own advertising demographic, you get your own kind of blog.

This tendency to protect our mothers is natural. However, what if your mom really wants to sleep with someone? What if she is sleeping with someone? The person she’s schtupping is definitely a motherfucker, but is he/she a motherfucker?

We’ve got to stop thinking we’re all the product of some Immaculate Conception. You were conceived amid sweating and grunting and odd smells. Get used to it, human. There can be no mothers without mother fucking.

slitherSome women look at motherhood as a competition, like a “guess how many things are in this jar” contest. Nadya Suleman, the Octomom, whose gigantic pregnant stomach reminded me of a scene from the movie “Slither,” used in vitro fertilization to have her grand total of fourteen children. Really no motherfuckers involved in that situation, and no one has ever been called a “mother implanter.”

There are also women in the Quiver movement, who have as many children as possible, because it’s their religious belief. Believe me, I’m not in a position to make fun of anyone else’s religious beliefs, but they seem less like mothers and more like insect queens. Those aren’t families; they’re colonies.

And you can’t tell me Jim Duggar isn’t a motherfucker.

Is it simply the inclusion of the word “fucker” in that particular compound word? Really, is “fuck” still THE bad word? Is it even a bad word at all? Do we still believe in the concept of “bad” words, as a society? It certainly seems like we’ve moved on since George Carlin first confronted us with the Seven Words You’ll Can’t Say on Television (which are now the words you almost always hear on television). I’m sure people are still offended by the word, “fuck,” but I’m not sure I understand why.

Our bad words are all political now. “Liberal” is a bad word. So is “Conservative.” You can’t say the words “Tea Party” anymore without starting an argument. It’s hard enough using the words “Left” and “Right.” You have to point to make sure others know you’re talking about directions, not ideological leanings. Once again, we’ve taken words and redefined their place within our language, and given them a moral value.

A moral value is a silly thing to give words.

Emotional depth? Yes. Do words have weight and power? Absolutely. You can destroy or empower a kid depending on which words you choose when you speak to him/her. But can words be good or bad? I don’t think so. Words are a tool. A misuse of words is like trying to open a can with a flat-head screwdriver. You might get the point across. You might also stab right through the palm of your hand. But those two options don’t negate the fact that you are using the tool incorrectly.

The intention behind the word decides the effect of the word.

If you come at me with your fists raised and you call me a “motherfucker,” I can rightfully make the assumption that you are upset, and your intent for that word was to hurt me somehow (it doesn’t). If you are in my home, enjoying the company of my children and my hot wife, and you call me a “motherfucker,” I can take that as a term of good intention (e.g. “Look what you have accomplished simply by choosing to spawn; you are a motherfucker”). If you call me a “motherfucker” and you are Jim Morrison, then you should take a face from the Ancient Gallery and walk on down the hall. Also: stay out of Miami.

Maybe I take things too literally. When someone calls me a bastard, I laugh. I know both my parents. That statement is categorically untrue. Telling me to go to hell is like telling me to go to Narnia or Westeros. Calling me a motherfucker is just a true statement. It’s neither an insult nor a compliment (unless you are also complimenting my hot wife).

Got kids? You’re a motherfucker.
In a relationship with a woman who has children? You’re a motherfucker.
Your dad? He’s a motherfucker.

The world needs motherfuckers like me. Sorry if that offends you.

Sixteen

I was stuck at work when it became apparent that my son was moving in with us, more quickly than he or we had anticipated. My wife went to get him and bring him home.

The Adventures of Cootie & X: Life Without GPS

It was 7 pm on a Friday. The sun was making its slow decent in the western sky. I lowered my visor and squinted at traffic. The air conditioning blasted its protest over the June heat and the man-child sniffled quietly in the seat beside me as his hometown slowly faded into the distance behind us. For a moment, I remembered him as a small child hiding behind his father.  Now his tears were falling from a face hidden behind long hair; the last vestige of the childhood of a boy trying so hard to become a strong man.

“It’s weird, isn’t it?” I asked him, “Knowing that your entire life will fit into one car.”

He laughed, a little bitterly. “Yeah.” he said, “Yeah, it is.”

I squeezed his hand reassuringly and we drove for a while without speaking.

Later, he asked “Will you cut my hair?”

I smiled…

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Catching up is better than throwing up.

Let’s play a little catch-up. I haven’t posted on WordPress in over a year. It’s been a busy few months. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook, talking to people. Maybe that makes me a WordPress traitor. It’s fun, dammit, and I will continue to do it. But for every person who likes Facebook, there are two who don’t. That’s a lot of people I don’t get to talk to.

I’m a social person, Heathens. I like to talk.
So let’s talk.

 

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Haüsfraü.

I know they’re talking about me. It happens to every public figure eventually. I, however, am not like every other public figure.

It’s understandable that you’re all bursting at the seams with questions you dare not ask about me and my personal life, especially given the strange anecdotes and conspiracy theories surrounding me. I don’t mind giving you that kind of access. There’s no hiding here. I’ll answer pretty much any question you hurl my way. While I am quickly becoming your favorite writer, I certainly don’t want to hide behind my rock-solid literary reputation. Salinger, I am not, and in more ways than two.

In fact, a lot of you newer fans may not know that I, Jeffery X Martin, am a domestic goddess. Can it be? you think. Can someone so manly, so John Milius-esque, around whom such legendary tales have arisen have a side that longs for hearth and home?

Oh, Children.

X shooting gun

I have heard the stories. I have been regaled with stories of how I singlehandedly led a lost safari through the desert, allowing the stragglers whom I rescued to live by filtering my sweat and urine for them to drink.

Rumors have reached my ears about my secret work in Myanmar, smuggling Burmese children across the borders before they were impressed into service by vicious warlords and madmen.

I know what they say about me in the boardrooms, behind heavy oaken doors in their looming castles of glass and iron; how Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden and licensed airline pilot, and I helped Richard Branson fake his own death so he could continue his work in stem-cell genetics without the interference of rogue government groups who sought to use his research to resurrect the Third Reich.

I understand the power of history. I am fully aware of the kind of fear I engender, the respect I command when I enter a room and the fawning and kowtowing of women when I simply extend my hand.

Women want to be with me. Men want to be in me. Men want to be in the women who want to be with me, preferably with me in them, and in me, also. That’s a kind of knot-tying best left to professionals.

These stories, ridiculous and absurd at first glance, make a strange kind of sense upon further inspection. Are they true? Well, Loyal Fanbase, I believe firmly in the power of belief. I can honestly say those stories are as true as you want them to be.

While the so-called experts babble about the nature of Truth as a concept and what constitutes Right and Wrong, I can honestly say to you I make a mean-ass omelet.

X cooking eggs

You know what the trick is? Don’t add water to the eggs. It thins them out too much; you’ll never get a good flip. If you must use milk, don’t overdo it. Seriously, you only need a splash. Less than a splash, even.

What you should really use is a teaspoon of sour cream. Whip together two or three eggs with that sour cream, and you’ve got the basic building blocks for a perfect omelet.

You know what else is nice? Put a little bit of cinnamon in your vacuum cleaner. It makes the whole house smell like the food court at the mall.

Coffee filters are great to clean glass with. They don’t leave any kind of lint behind. They’re also cheaper than any kind of pre-moistened wipe! And it’s all about saving money, isn’t it, girls?

I may be crafting the stories that give an entire generation nightmares. They may be hailing me in some circles as the new voice of terror. But inside, past all the rumors and hype, I’m just a guy who works from home and likes to take care of his family.

Okay. The story about me shooting my way through a door to enter a burning building so I could rescue cardboard boxes filled with baby kittens, puppies, lambs and babies is totally true. The babies were already blind and they did suffer burns, but Bruce Dickinson and I donated some of our ass skin for the grafting process. One of the babies did regain her sight after someone read a couple of my movie reviews out loud to her. They’ll be fine.

-X-

Red, Red Wine (Wants Me To Be Dead) — A Rant

I’m a self-medicator. I always have been. My trust for doctors and the entire “health for profit” way of American medicine is practically non-existent. I believe the system sets us  up to die and that corporations help us do it. There are things in our food that we know nothing of. These things make us sick, forcing us to turn to the professional medicators. The professional medicators know how to suck your insurance dry, if you have it, rendering you addicted to medicine that may have deadly side effects or may be nothing more than a placebo that your brain thinks you’re hooked on. “Naked Lunch,” anyone?

I’m also a conspiracy theorist. I’m also pretty sure I’m right. I say these things because it has become even more clear lately that I’ve got a few things wrong with me.

I’m over forty. My body is starting to rebel, coming up with more disgusting and bothersome things to do every day. I wake up and play connect the dots with the new skin tags I find. Yesterday, I made John Bonham’s symbol from the fourth Led Zeppelin album. There’s a certain loss of control involved with this body derangement and I’m not willing to give it up quite yet. Perhaps, I think, I am growing into something amazing and heretofore unseen. Perhaps I am the next stage of human evolution. Next stop, telekinesis and parts of my body that snap off and take on lives of their own while my body simply regenerates and makes me crave marathon sessions of deviant sex. “Rabid,” anyone?

I am also appreciative of the fact that as I am making small steps to get better, my body has found new and fascinating ways to get worse. It’s impressive.

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Tarot Readings

By appointment only, I will do a personal Tarot reading for you. After all, I wrote a book about it; it would be silly if I didn’t do it for realsies.

My preference is to do this over webcam. That way, you can see the cards and we can actually have a conversation about what’s going on. That’s nice. People talking. Like people used to.  That’s especially important during a Tarot reading, methinks. Communication is key.

All you have to do is send me an email or DM me on Twitter. We’ll set up a time, discuss payment and get the thing done.

Sometimes you just have to trust that someone knows what they’re doing.

Trust. I know what I’m doing.

So hit me up. Let me know when we can do this thing. You know you want it. You know you need it. I’m the guy to give it to you.