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I’ve Got Too Many Teeth

Maybe I’ve talked about this before, maybe I haven’t, but when I was a little girl, I had an enormous oral surgery. I must’ve been in elementary school, maybe 9 or 10 years old, and they had to do surgery because as it turned out, I had too many teeth in my head. The teeth that were supposed to be replacing my baby teeth couldn’t come in because I had too many baby teeth and they weren’t coming out, or something along those lines. Listen, I was knocked out for the surgery and I’m not a fuckin’ doctor so don’t ask me about specifics. I just remember it happening, alright.

Anyway, my point is, I have a hole in my tooth. It’s in the back side of my lower right jaw. It came from eating something, and while it doesn’t really hurt except once a month or so, I recognize I should get it looked at at some point, when I have money, so, in other words, never. It doesn’t really bother me, like I said, and I often run my tongue over the hole for fun. I think a good reason it happened was because I almost exclusively, throughout my life, had chewed with the right side of my jaw. I also used to chew a lot of ice when I was a teenager. I don’t have any explanation, okay. Sorry. Anyway, I believe the tooth was just eventually worn down and cracked.

So, why am I telling you this horribly weird factoid about my oral hygiene?

Because this hole in my tooth simply acts as yet another form of imperfection. It’s not even one people can see, but it’s something that I know is wrong with me, and my imperfections are keeping me alive because I’m working on fixing them. The way I see it, if I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to do it only once I’m perfect, thanks to being a perfectionist, but because perfection isn’t actually attainable, I’ll stay alive as long as I can trying to make myself as close to “perfect” as I can be. It keeps me going, because of my absolute need to be as perfect as possible. If I’m going to be a corpse at some point, I’m going to be the most goddamned beautiful corpse there is. Is this a healthy coping method? Of course not, but then again, has any of the shit I’ve told you here been?

A few nights ago, when I was feeling particularly bad, I got it into my head that I didn’t want my hands anymore. That I would actually function better if I no longer had hands. I would never do anything to myself like, oh, cut off my hands, but for some reason that became a thought I became attached to suddenly for an entire night. Why? Who the fuck knows. I just know that the following morning, I felt fine and thought it was ridiculous that I actually clung to that concept. I’ve read about Body Integrity Identity Disorder before, but this isn’t a thing I usually think about, so I definitely don’t have that by any means. I just know that for a little bit one evening, I thought I’d be better off without hands. Am I actively now looking for ways to make myself worse so I can find things to fix about myself?

Who knows. All I know is that sometimes my tooth hurts and I hate existing.

For a good while, I kept my teeth from that surgery in a small, plastic cup in a blue liquid that they gave me at the hospital. I probably still have it somewhere. Sometimes, for show and tell, I would bring it in and show it off, because that’s the kind of kid I was. Sometimes I’d even pretend they weren’t my teeth, and were just somebody else’s teeth that I’d found like this, because, again, that’s the kind of kid I was. I am obsessed with imperfection, because it’s my imperfections that keep me striving to better myself. How about that. The most unhealthy parts of me are forcing me to fix myself and be healthier.

Take from that what you want.

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!

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You Exist To Buy Sneakers

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Drawn & written by Maggie Taylor

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!

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Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality: Episode 2 “Your Failures & Flaws”

So here’s episode 2 of my podcast, I hope you all enjoy it! In this episode, Samantha tries to get USER 147 to move past some of their worst personal issues. For those unaware, you can get each episode a week early on my Patreon, which means people who support me over there get access to episode 3 tomorrow too!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!

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Wear My Art On My Sleeve

When I was a little girl, I helped my step grandma complete a puzzle one summer.

I don’t recall it perfectly, just that it was some stupid, soothing almost Thomas Kinkadesque picture of a stream or some shit like that, and when we were done, she had it glued together and framed, and gave it to me. It hung in my bedroom for many years, but only in the last few years have I realized I don’t know where it’s gone. Perhaps my stepfather took it when my parents divorced, I mean it did come from his mother so that would make sense I suppose, but I had a hand in that too. A part of that is mine. There’s so much that’s just gone now, so little left for me to hang onto, that I cling to anything I’ve had a hand in, which is why I defend my art so vehemently. Even if I myself am not good enough, I know with full force that my work is good enough. The problem is, a lot of art is so introspective, something that will make people think and analyze themselves and question things, but nobody wants to do that. Everyone is too happy being spoonfed what to think, what opinions to have, and then being told they came up with said thoughts and opinions in the first place, so they can feel clever.

I want this to be made perfectly clear. I am not saying I deserve anything, any praise, recognition or what have you. My work might, who knows, but me as a person? God no. I don’t deserve to be famous or popular simply for making something people like. People like my artwork, that’s a separate entity from me. I just want to be able to do it, to live comfortably enough doing it, and to have people enjoy it. I just want to make others happy, feel connected to something, to make them…not…feel like me. I am so unhappy, that I work actively to make those around me feel good, so they never have to feel as low as I’ve felt, or do feel. I want to make them better. I want to make them what I’m not. What I can’t be. Look at how unhappy artists are. Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven, Van Gogh lopped his ear off. I’m not saying I am anywhere as good as these people, because heaven knows I am not, but I don’t want anyone to feel as bad as I do.

So many people tell me to give up, that maybe I should delegate my art to being a “hobby”, saying it doesn’t “provide for me”. No. I would rather starve than fail at the one thing I was put here to do. I haven’t been doing this for 90% of my life to have it be boiled down to a fucking “hobby”. So many people hate their jobs, and keep the things they’d love to do instead as their careers as their “hobbies” simply because it doesn’t “provide” for them, but where’s the fucking logic in that. If I’m already this unhappy doing the thing I love, the thing I was put here to do, why the fuck would I ever do something that’d make me even unhappier, with less time for the thing I love to do? Perhaps if my parents had wanted me, if my family had loved me, if I had been fulfilled in that sort of way, I could say “Okay, well, this is just a fun thing to do on the side”, but the way I see it, when the only thing I’m here to do isn’t good enough, then there’s no reason for me to be here at all.

Art…it’s all that I have. It’s been my entire life. An escape from the ever ongoing existential dread that is my existence. Movies, books, television, music, comics, painting, drawing, video games. Art in all its glorious outcomes, it has been my friend. I came home everyday, from a school where students endlessly harassed me and teachers were of no help, to parents who yelled at me for not being better and made no effort to really know me or help me, who told me I’d never be good enough. I came home to that, every single fucking day, and having art, any kind of art, any medium at all, be my only escape…

…I have to give back to it, for all that it’s given me.

Hey. I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, then maybe you’d like these other things I made, like my webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my writing over at Medium or my podcast, “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”. If you really like what I do and really want to support me, you can either donate directly to the PayPal or help out at my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading, it means the world to me.

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Michael & Gina Sit On The Roof

technologiesMichael had been up here so many times in his life, watching the stars or waiting for fireworks with a good view. This roof had become as familiar to him as his own house had, except he’d spent so much more time here, at Lucy’s, that it almost felt more like home than his own home had. He glanced over his shoulder at the sound of someone coming onto the roof behind him, only to see his friend Gina crawling up to sit beside him, handing him a coffee mug and holding one for herself. Michael took the mug and took a long sip as Gina settled herself beside him on the roof.

“I think I’ve spent more time on this roof than I have inside the house, oddly enough,” Michael said, and Gina smirked.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” she said, “This roof has seen so much more action than anywhere I’ve ever lived. You remember Lillian Burk? That girl I was in band with in high school, the sort of gothy one?”

“Yeah, I remember her,” Michael said.

“I brought her up here on New Years and kissed her,” Gina said, smiling as she looked down at the coffee she was swirling in her mug, “She ended up not being into it in the end, but it’s a very vivid, happy memory for me. This roof is where I had my first kiss.”

“Did you ever tell Lucy that?” Michael asked and Gina laughed.

“God, no, never. No, Lucy and I weren’t the sort of secret sharing best friends everyone seems to be in love with concept wise. No, we were more like the ‘let’s go to college together and be eachothers bridesmaids’ sort of best friends.”

“I remember when Kyle Lowman fell off this roof,” Michael said, taking another long sip from his mug, “Remember that?”

“I do remember that!” Gina said loudly, pointing at him, “I remember he was getting angry at Tally Spimoni for something, and he lost his footing and slid off the roof into the bushes below! He wasn’t even hurt, but he acted like he was, and of course that made Tally be all apologetic and shit. God, those two belonged together.”

A long pause came over them, as the cool summer air picked up, wafting past them, turning the weather vane on the roof a bit, the both of them watching.

“Everyone’s gone now,” Gina said, “Some are dead, some just moved and lost touch with, the only one we had left really was Lucy, and her roof. I don’t want to lose the roof. I’ve already lost my best friend.”

“They’re going to sell the house, you know that,” Michael said.

“I don’t see why we don’t just pool our money and-”

“Yeah, I can barely afford my rent, let alone half a house,” Michael said, interrupting her before she got too attached to the idea like she usually did, “No, I mean, I’m right there with you, this roof has been a major part of my life for so long, I don’t want to lose it either, but…but we’re going to, and we just need to accept that. You know, I lost my virginity up here.”

“What?!”

“Yeah,” Michael said, chuckling, “Yeah, to Carmen Tortona, from Saint Marys, remember her?”

“You lost it to a girl from a catholic school? Wow, that’s impressive,” Gina said.

“She wasn’t very catholic as it turned out,” Michael said, “But it was like, sometime in the fall, early October, and we were over here hanging out and we were seniors, I remember that, and I think we were here pet sitting cause Lucy had to go visit her grandma or something, and her parents asked me to watch the dog, so obviously I invited a girl over to a house I had all to myself a week.”

“What a casanova,” Gina said, grinning.

“Well,” Michael replied, “I do what I can for the ladies. But we were up here, and it was like one in the morning or something, and we were talking about graduation and stuff and, I don’t know, it just sort of came up that we were both still virgins, and that we liked one another enough and that we both could’ve ended up having our first time with worse people so why not do it with eachother, right?…it was nice.”

Another long pause, as Gina looked at her nails.

“Did you see Lucy after she got sick?”

“A few times,” Michael said, “Did you?”

“I couldn’t,” Gina said, “I feel awful about it, but she told me it was fine if I couldn’t stomach it. The worst part is when she told me she was going to die, I was sad but the first thing that ran through my head was ‘oh no, we’re going to lose her house’. Am I a bad person?”

“Buildings are important to people,” Michael said, shrugging, “I mean, I don’t get it but it’s true. A lot of times, when people recount memories, what they don’t realize is that the memory isn’t so much about when or how it happened or with whom it happened, but where it happened. That’s what actually helps you remember, is the setting. That’s why you were scared of losing the house when she told you she was sick, because this is where so many formative moments in your life occurred, right here, on this goddamned roof. You don’t want to lose that, nobody would.”

Another pause, and then Michael laughed and looked at Gina.

“Let’s take a shingle, each,” he said, “That way, we’ll always have some of the roof with us. Often times these homes when they get sold end up getting redone anyway, so why not? Nobody’s going to miss a few lousy shingles.”

“That’s a good idea,” Gina said, as the two of them got onto their knees and started prying some of the looser shingles free from the roof. They then picked the ones they liked best, and each took one. As they sat there, staring at their respective shingles, Michael sighed.

“Don’t worry,” he said, finishing his coffee, “There will always be other roofs, and there will always be other Lucy’s, cruel as it may sound, but there will never be another Lucy’s roof.”

Gina smiled, stood up and held her hand out. Michael took it, as she helped him up, and the two of them headed down from the roof, through the house, locking it up and out to their cars. Standing there, in the driveway, Gina looked at Michael.

“I’m hungry, you want to go get something to eat?”

“I could eat, yeah,” he replied, “You pick and I’ll just follow you.”

“Okay.”

The two got into their cars and drove away. As they left, Michael couldn’t help but glance at his rearview mirror, back at Lucy’s roof one final time, and smiled. He didn’t mean by his statement that Lucy wasn’t special or unique or that she could be easily replaced. Everyone was special and unique and couldn’t be easily replaced. He just meant that there would never be another roof like Lucy’s. One that held so much history of their youth, of their time spent together, their friendship. Other roofs would hold other history, the start of their own families, their own holiday traditions, their eventual children’s youths, but there would never be another like this roof. Yes, there will always be other roofs, other Lucy’s.

But there would never be another Lucy’s roof.

Hey, I’m Maggie. You like this thing I made? Then you might like other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate at the PayPal or follow/support my work on Patreon! Anything given will go to paying my rent and groceries, and be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality Episode 1

It’s here. The first episode of my podcast about fixing your mental health with robots. “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality” is a ‘medically mandated auditory therapeutic session between the listener and their assigned betterment host, in this case, Samantha Gold. Samantha tries to help the user assess and analyze their complex psychological issues, perhaps bypass them and move on, all while giving information on her own issues. It soon becomes clear things are not exactly as clean as they seem, as the user begins to form a bond with Samantha, and she tells you a story about sadness.’ so I hope you listen and enjoy it. This is just the first of many podcasts I hope to publish to my audio network so hopefully you stick around and see what else comes! Also, if you support my work on my Patreon, even if by only doing the dollar a month tier, you get behind the scenes content, Patreon only posts and the podcasts a whole week early!

Hey, I’m Maggie. You like this thing I made? Then you might like other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate at the PayPal or follow/support my work on Patreon! Anything given will go to paying my rent and groceries, and be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

 

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My Mom’s Going To Haunt Me

It’s gotta be some sort of cruel irony that I’ve spent a good portion of my life running away from my mother both in a physical sense and a personality sense, and yet despite all the effort, I’m going to wind up carrying her around after she dies since she has chosen to be cremated and as her only child, I’ll be stuck with her ashes.

My mother has made this stance of hers clear for years, likely ever since her brother died when I was a little girl. She says that she hates the idea of being buried (too confining, as if your corpse would notice), and that she doesn’t want to be reincarnated and thinks by being burnt that you cannot be brought back because your essence is literally released into the universe. While I don’t make fun of her for these things, shit, we hardly even speak, I also don’t believe in it myself. But, the fact remains…no matter how far I run, how hard I try to break free, how much I tell people I want nothing to do with my family and they don’t care about me either, I will end up with my mothers remains, because I am her only child and it’ll all fall down to me. The only upside to this is that my father likely won’t be cremated, so thank god I won’t end up with them both.

There’s a famous quote, “We all become our parents”. That quote is a load of giant bullshit. While that quote might be totally applicable to people who like their parents, admire traits their parents have and want to emulate them as adults themselves, it’s absolute crap for people who have been abused by their parents and spent their lives running away from them. I assure you, aside from a slight overlap in musical taste, I have nothing in common with my mother. We have very different “religious” beliefs, political stances, overall viewpoint of the world and so on and so forth. And it goes beyond your usual “millennial” vs “baby boomer” aspect. First of all, I don’t really consider myself a millennial more than any other reason because I hold a lot of values held by Generation X. While I recognize it isn’t ideas that determine what generation you’re a part of, it’s the year you’re born in, I still hold fast to that belief. So this gap between us goes far beyond the usual generational differences. It’s likely it goes far beyond that because of how she treated me most of my life, so please, do not ever compare me to my mother. I assure you, we aren’t alike. In fact, I am so different from my parents, I don’t even take after them physically.

Hilarious. I’ll spend years running away, trying to escape a woman who made my life a literal living hell a lot of the time, and made my self esteem go in the toilet, and it won’t matter how far I go or what I do to put distance between us physically or otherwise, because in the end, all that matters is that she’s gonna end up in my possession anyway. She’s going to get what she wants; being stuck to me, always a presence in my life in some way. She’s going to be a presence in my future childs life simply because she’ll be there in an urn. I guess there’s truth in the whole “you can’t outrun your problems” concept.

So okay, my mother will have the last laugh because she’ll force her way into my life one way or another in the end. I can’t fight it. Sometimes you just have to give applause to dedication. Sure, she may be with me in an urn, but, as someone who didn’t expect to live past 14 and is now nearing her thirties, the fact I’ll outlive my mother, someone who made me want to die for so long, is a somewhat comforting fact and one she can’t take away from me.

She’ll never truly win.

Hey, I’m Maggie. Did you like this thing I made? Then you might like some other things I make, like my webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. If you want to support all the work I do, you can donate directly at my PayPal or follow and donate at my Patreon, where for a dollar a month (the basic tier), you get posts early, along with behind the scenes content! Anything you give goes to survival and is greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!