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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Man and Cat

27th June 2012

Dear Cassi,

It was on this eve that I was asked to attend some welcome home gathering for a fellow of my acquaintance and having need to collect my coffee from this site I had no room for refusal. The affair was a bother to me as I work nights and it was in the late hours giving me need to rush. Still, I can fault them none in my invitation, as I have never put out to them my ill feeling in any right manner as opportunity has been short.
On my arrival I was greeted as if they had seen me yesterday not as a man absent for some months. I am given to feel as if there is something left unsaid by this bunch. Some lingering nature has passed into the realm of taboo and so haunts the air of my arrival. It is as if there is a great looming darkness in the room that will kill the first who speaks of its presents.
It is no matter, though, as I come chiefly to say hello to the animals. No less than three cats and four dogs were in attendance tonight. Of these seven six were of good health and one, an orange cat, had grown ill.
There was a time when this cat would have run to me and put his front paws on my leg so that I would pick him up. Now he only looks at me as if he tries to remember who I am. I took his bony frame into my arms as I always do and found that he weighed little more than a pound.
This was so much the oddity to have this animal so close to death so happy to see me as he had been in better health. He called his call and rubbed his chin in my arm greeting me as a long absent good friend. There was a bitter sweet moment when I returned him to his normal roost that I think we both felt.
I may never see that poor animal again, but he had the demeanor lost in most humans. In a way, we should aspire to be so well met as man and cat. This an alliance without fear or mistrust is so worming to the heart.

May you always know the nectar of friendship,

Richard Leland Neal 

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Long Drive

21st June 2012

Dear Cassi,

Yesterday on my way into work I ran over a smashed traffic cone. It would be hard to say if that had something to do with my car no longer being able to move in reverse. Given that I just had so much work done to the transmission and it was making noise long before the cone I doubt that bit of orange plastic could have done any more than brought up the inevitable.

I had looked at cars before and I knew what I wanted so I jumped on line and looked it up. I found a blue Honda LX for fifteen thousand dollars and, knowing that if nothing else my car was unreliable, I made way to the dealer to buy the car. I called first to see if it was still on the lot and it was one of two the other being white.

It was a hard ride to the dealer as my old Saturn had a check engine light burning brightly the whole time I was on the freeway. To harden the point traffic was slow.

I failed to shower before leaving the house as I just wanted this over with and the smell of my body was bothering me. Folks have told me that I react strongly to smell, but some of those folks were Turtle Nose and his friends. Well, who cares what they think.

I made it around nine sixteen in the morning and they handed me the keys and said “take her out, see how she feels.” I had never gone on a test drive without a sales man before but the use of the Civic came naturally to me as it was much like my old car.

I paid the man and had the Saturn towed to the mechanic telling him that he could take his time as I had another car.  He was shocked to hear this but I needed something I could trust to get me to work every night.

Deal with your problems as best you can,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, February 22, 2013


A question I have for the two or three folks who read this blog comes up with the creation of this image.  I drew this to accompany the first post on this blog and have since updated said post to include this image. You can see the post here:

So I need  ask:
Should I update old post with images or delete old post and post them anew when I add an image?

If I simply update the old post should I post an acknowledgement of the update?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rafael's Bertday Card

At my work we get a list of folks having birthdays every month. They did nothing for me and that's how I like it, but I'm not the world so I like to at least give a not to folks who do care for these things.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Organizing My Business

16th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

I drudge on in the working of organizing my business and make little improvement. This game I have played alone is one that I am losing as I labor on seeing day after day that my home is still a mess and my comics make only the smallest progress at becoming organized.
I set about this task around two weeks ago and as I struggle on I see the massiveness of my labors. I dedicated to viewing another of my comics on the old Vengeful Rose website for every action towards my goal of clean home and organized affairs. My goal is to finish by the time I have viewed every comic on every one of the six computer screens in my work room.
I’ve passed through the first screen and am working on the second but the house looks as it did before even as I do come closer to having my comics in order. My body is a lump of cold dead flesh animated by nothing but the motion of will and so it crawls on at a snail’s pace.
I find myself in a prison of my own making. The walls are high but broken and the guards are but shadows. Still it binds me so securely.

Find your freedom,

Richard Leland Neal

Lon's Birthday Card

If there is one thing I have no stomach for it's generic cards so I write my own. Childish I know, but at least it shows I put in the effort.

I never mind if I get a generic card so long as someone said something on the thing. A card from the store with no inscription belongs in the trash bin. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hospital Food

12th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

One of the points I failed to bring up about my trip to the hospital was that I had three hours to kill between appointments and as long as it feels like I spent in the pharmacy it just wasn’t that long. So, my doctor mentioned that there was a cafeteria on the same floor as her office and as I had not eaten it decided to take my laptop out and spend some time there. I walked in to see what reminded me of a high school cafeteria with the registers well out of site.
I walked around for a few seconds wondering where the plates and trays were until I saw that small stacks of disposables sat around the place. The trays were cleverly hidden behind the door so it took me a minute to find them.
There was a small selection of reheated food and baked goods. I grabbed a cinnamon role and what looked like a long photograph of pizza. It was the thinnest pizza I have ever had and it had the consistency of beef jerky.

The next disappointment came when I found that they only had diet soft drinks. They really are no better for you then their calorie ridden cousins. Some would even say they are worse but whatever they are their chemical foulness has never passed with me.

Turtle Nose, if you recall, had a thing for diet soda and so in supplementing he was always eating ice cream. It turns out that diet sweeteners make you want sweet even more and drive you wait up. A diet high in diet sweeteners is often one high in sugar because of the craving. That and they make me ill.

I sat eating what was food only in name and hammering on keys working of a report for school. The place was empty, can’t imagine why.

Eat natural, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Something Stronger

11th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

Today I saw the doctor again and got a stronger sleeping pill. There is a hollow feeling in my chest with the acceptance of this medication, but what can I do? I need to sleep and sleep is denied me. I feel as if I’m betraying some trust with myself taking these things. I’m now on the largest dose of SSRI that they will proscribe for my medication. The doctor said that I should feel energized but I simply do not.

My old man was a pill pusher and so taking these things offends me because of him. He horded these things and thought that all the answers lived in those little vials growing dusty and cracked in his pink box that had once held my mother’s makeup.

I know that the pill can do no more than simply help, and I have been told that the same recovery can be made without them so long as someone is willing to wait another ten years to recover. No, these pills will be a part of my life until I resolve the issues in my head. The nature of my problem is long lasting and requires cognitive restructuring.

I need to reassign emotions to the events of my life. How do you un-feel? How is it possible to take the natural feelings of a man and dash them into the world of passable? I’ve chosen to laugh at a good amount of my pain because laughing is better than crying. Well, no, I never cried I just got angry. Laughing is better than getting angry as well. It’s better for your heart. Anger causes heart disease.

Live healthy, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reflections of a Made Man

9th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

Mental problems are as common to the homeless as shoes are on feet. Still, every now and then and odd one crops up to take the prize for crazy of the day. Last night I had one of those folks.

I’d say in general he was the nicest fellow. He had the laughing nature of an infant about him that I could never understand. Still he was a man that thought out loud and lived in his own grand universe.

He was noted to look in the mirror and laugh carrying on about what great things he could do to help society. He watched his reflection as though it were his best friend and enjoying his Talk.

There were cognitive words about hydroelectric power and transportation, but he said nothing that I could put into thoughts. He turned to me once in this interlude and said “It will work, they’ll have to call it a dehiglofoop but it’ll work. It’ll replace cars in ten years and everyone will be able to use it but if they come late they’ll have to wait three hours.”

Finally he went to sleep and I switched my fans on and let the cool air and hummm sing to me as I worked. As lines ran across my computer screen I noticed a smell like fresh dog mess. Not so much noticed as it nearly knocked me from my chair.

I turned my fans off and it did so little that I turned them back on again. After an hour of experimenting in air flow I just turned them off and left them off but the smell was choking.

In the end this poor fellow was taken to a place better suited to his needs. In my business Cassi, working with the homeless, I fill sad for every life I can’t better. Let’s hope this is not one of them.

Find your place, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, February 8, 2013

Something of a Game

7th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

I’m playing something of a game. Every time I get something done I flick a comic on the old vengeful rose website that Eric put up. This bit of business is a thorn in my side and I need to take it out sooner or later. I believe Eric put this up in good faith but Turtle Nose convinced him otherwise.
When the first site was made to display my web-comics it listed Eric as a webmaster. After I broke with Turtle Nose Eric removed that section to leave an error warning in its place. After that last conversation I had with Turtle Nose the error was fixed so you could never tell a webmaster was listed.
When I finally put my foot down and expected Turtle Nose to get my name right he had Eric pull the advertising from the site. That makes it impossible for me to make money off my work, not that there was much to make in that time, but it’s the insult that counts.
So now the ads are back and I can make money on a site that can be pulled from under me at any time. So with every action I complete, like writing this letter, I turn to a new page of this site in a hope that I can cause Eric to take it down.
In the process of this I will get my comics properly logged and measured so that I know when they were published. The first generation had no issue numbers and so there is a need for recordings to recall the order of them.

Wish me luck, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nasty Song

4th June 2012
Dear Cassi,

Another of the musical stories of my middle school acutance Earp involves the song “Hi, My Name is Joe”. This was an old childhood fun song that went ‘Hi, my name is Joe and I work in a button factory, I’ve got a wife, and a dog, and a family.’ No mention was made of Joe’s crappy grammar. “One day, my boss came up to me and said, “Joe, are you busy?” I said, “No”. He said “push this button with your right hand.”’
Joe’s labors soon included his left hand right and left foot and finally his head. After the whole of his body was in the work of button making Joe’s boss would come once again only to have Joe say that he was busy.
The point of this song has never truly been clear to me, but as it gave children and those who look after them something to do I do not complain of such things.
Well, Earp had his own version that involved Joe masturbating his supervisor with the whole of his body. School children giggle over nasty bits like this and so I found it humorous enough to tell a few folks. Those folks went and told others who asked me to sing Earp’s song.
Imagine my surprise when Earp was talking about his dirty limerick as if I was the author. I marched over to him and told him that I had gotten the song from him and that he’d best stop putting his words in my mouth.
Earp would have made a good politician with his ideal features and slimy attitudes. Then it comes to me that most abusive folks would make good politicians.

Keep good company, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy and Cruel

2nd June 2012
Dear Cassi,
If you recall my letter about a girl so cruelly nicknamed Buffalo Chips. Her closet male friend was a man who we all thought was gay as a pigeon at a garbage dump. I’m going to call this fellow Earp for no good reason.
Earp thought of himself as a Hollywood type and so I guess he was, fit and healthy with blue eyes and blond hair. Come to think of it the two of us would have looked like brother had I not been a pimple studded wildebeest. I would never trade my wildebeest nature for his limp wrist boyishness but each to his own.
In any case Earp was already doing extra work in Hollywood so far as I knew and he talked about his time on the set of ‘Toy Story’. I think I was supposed to be impressed by this but I saw no reason to be so moved.  
Now gay was still something of a major insult among children in my middle school. However, Earp did grab another fellow’s back end so I honestly think he was a homosexual.
Then, as I recall, my own reality was something of a reason for insult. There were a few boys who would sing “Rick-y Neal, he’s so god dame fat” whenever I walked in the door so I guess we as children were cruel folks.  
Potato would sin this song “I’m a fag watcher, I’m a fag watcher, watching Earp go by, oooh my my”. I would have to say that this would make Potato as gay has his watched subject as he was then admiring another man from a distance.
What did we think at twelve and thirteen? Was their much in the way of logic to our rambling? Children are cruel things in this world and we pick at each other. I’d look back in shame but how accountable can a child be?

Don’t look back in anger, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Sad Voice

1st June 2012
Dear Cassi,

There are times in the doing of my job that voices come from the darkness. Each voice has a story to tell and none are happy tales of wonder. All too often when I lift the receiver to my desk phone the voice on the other side needs to tell me the horrors of their life.
Such was the case not too long ago when a woman called apologizing for not having money to donate to the homeless. This is a funny thing about working with the homeless; those who hold a tender part in their hearts for the folks I look after are often odd folks themselves. 
On the phone this woman with such a deep pain within her that she had to lance the wound and let it drain into strange fabric of the night watch spoke. She was an aging hippy with the withered sound that the hard party lifestyle in her voice.
She told me of how she had been kicked out of her family home the night of her high school graduation by a mother calming to be protecting her. She was given a fifty dollar bill, that was a lot of money at the time, and told to make her way before her father took her life. This was back in the seventies before I was born and it was a different kind of world.
Unable to find work she had turned to friends who viewed her as an accessory to the lush accommodations of the era. She kept her place by satisfying carnal appetites. To live with herself she took drugs and lived in her ugly dream for an undisclosed time.
This had left her body ravaged and her womb broken. The injuries to her body left a hole in her heart where should have lived a child that she could never mother in biology or household. Those, the unfortunate, had become her children and I shepherd to that brood. She had no idea if it was staff on that phone of client and said “if your homeless, god bless you”.

Live with who you are, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Washer that Would Not Die

30th May 2012
Dear Cassi,

I believe I mentioned the notorious tinkering of Grandpa Leland. It is my understanding that the mishmash of lights in my garage is his doing and they have worked, slowly dying out over the last thirty years, in an acceptable fashion.
It is my understanding that grandpa Leland worked at a factory that made ceramic fittings. “It was a crappy job but it paid good,” Alan had told me once. Leland was a defects repair specialist. He would have to lift tubs and toilets and such and sand out imperfections in the porcelain then retouch the finish.
This was a hard job for the man and he retired after a stroke made him incapable of working. Never the less he was a man who insisted on doing all his own home repairs. This he did in an extravagant manner that only he understood.
I’m told he had this one old washer that he refused to replace. Bolts had rusted out in the body so he got hold of some aircraft bolts, military surplus, and installed them in board out holes. When he turned the machine on again it made a hideous grinding sound that his neighbors complained over but it worked and so he paid them no mind.
Then one day a side of the machine fell free having been ground off by the bolts. This gave Leland no trouble as he welded a plate over the hole. Over time that machine became a funny, oddly shaped contraption for a funny, oddly shaped man.
From what I gather Grandpa Leland’s handiwork was easy to spot, hard to understand, but did the job in its own odd way.

Sometimes we find our own way, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal