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Nothing Important Happened Today

I wrote a short story over at Medium. Here’s a little excerpt:

“Hey Mandy,” he said, and she waved, “What’re we talking about?”

“Societal pressures regarding familial relationships,” Miranda said.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a bitch,” Mason said, sighing, running one hand through his medium length scruffy hair and putting the other hand in his coat pocket, “After my aunt Clarence died, I had to clean out her things because nobody else would and I thought that was strange, but once I got into her belongings, reading her thoughts and stuff from diaries and whatnot, I quickly realized why nobody else wanted to expose themselves to that toxicity.”

“And yet,” Charlie said.

“And yet,” Mason picked back up, “when it comes time to send her off, suddenly everyone is crying, singing her praises, talking about all the good she’s done, as if that cancels out all the terrible things she did. It was so weird to see. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Was it for public performance? As a family unit, are you supposed to love and support one another, but then in private you can turn right around and talk about what a scumbag Cousin Tom is? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, and I likely never will.”

It’s about families, relationships, abuse, death and all that good stuff we’ve come to know and love. So, if you’re interested, you can read the entire thing right here. Enjoy.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Katie Plays Dress Up In The Attic

technologiesIt seemed like she’d spent her entire childhood up here in this attic.

Sitting on this box labeled “costumes”, staring at the sole window in the attic, Katie couldn’t help but feel like this had been her bedroom, and not her actual bedroom. She swore she’d spent way more time in this attic than her own bedroom over the years, mostly playing dress up when she was younger, but then coming up here to read or just escape the world.

Now she still played dress up, but in the theater at her college, or in short, independent films she sometimes got cast in. Not for “fun” anymore, just for “work”. But why not? When did fun turn into work, and why couldn’t work be fun? Why couldn’t she sometimes throw on a princess costume or a pirate outfit and just play pretend again? Why not right now, in fact? So she tore open a box, ripped out some stuff and then, in the bottom of the box, found the dress. Not her mothers wedding dress, no, that was in her parents closet. No, this was the dress. The prom dress. The one she’d once heard her sister describe, saying it was what she’d wear to prom in high school when they got there.

As she pulled out the prom dress and got unclothed, she felt strange. Her sister hadn’t worn this, she had, and it still felt odd on her. Zipping up the back, she glanced back down into the box and discovered that beneath the prom dress was something else…something small and…stained. Oh god. It was the other dress. The one she’d been wearing when they’d crashed. They’d kept it all these years. Oh, how lonely the attic became once it was devoid of two little girls, and only had the one. Now instead of playing dress up together up here, Katie played alone, the sound of her sisters laugh never far off. Katie started spending her time solely up in the attic after the accident, after she died, making it essentially her bedroom. She described the prom dress to their grandmother when discussing what sort of dress she’d want for the occasion, and to nobody’s surprise, their grandmother sewed it for her.

Even now, even during prom, she was still playing dress up. Different dress, different room, but still playing pretend. Katie now wondered how much of her life had been mired in the swamps of playtime, of the bowels of imagination. How much time had been spent in this very attic, escaping a reality, escaping into another reality, as another person, perhaps even a person who still had her sister. It wasn’t enough to lose her sister, now her folks were selling the house and moving to Vermont, and she was going to lose the attic as well. Memories are not physical, they don’t do justice the places the memories are made. Suddenly, a clunking sound behind her, and she spun to find Charles coming in.

“Whoa, nice dress,” he said, “Uh…you about ready to start bringing some things down to the moving truck?”

“…I think so, yeah,” Katie replied, looking back at all the costumes on the floor, “Why did you get into film?”

“I like to tell stories,” Charles said, shrugging, shoving his hands into his coat pockets, “I mean, I like trying to tell stories anyway, heh, not that it ever works out that they get produced, but hey, that’s a screenwriters curse I suppose.”

“Did you ever want to be someone else?”

“Is that why you act?”

“Would you hate me if I said I hate myself? That I want to escape me and become someone new?”

“Who doesn’t want that,” Charles replied, “But no, of course I wouldn’t hate you. I understand, I know what you’ve been through. I love you.”

Katie smiled and picked up all the stuff from the floor, plopped it back into the box, folded the box tops shut and handed it to Charles.

“This stuff going to the storage or your folks?”

“That’s going to our place,” Katie said, placing her hand on her stomach, “It’ll be put to good use.”

As Charles and Katie turned to leave the attic, Katie looked back for one last time and swore, at least for a split second, that she could hear her sisters laugh. But her sister would be proud of her now, she knew that for a fact, and so now was a new time. A time to play dress up somewhere else. Because that’s all life is, isn’t it? Pretending to be someone else. All adults are just children playing pretend. And with that, she shut the door.

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”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip.

Wanna donate to me directly? You can do that via PayPal! Wanna support me ongoing month to month and get content early? You can do that via Patreon! Thanks for whatever you can spare, I really appreciate it!

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Double Or Nothing

I used to be happy that I was my parents only child.

But now that I’m nearing 30 years of age, I’m starting to realize just how dreadfully lonely the world is when you’re the only one left behind in it, especially when you don’t even have the rest of your family with you. My family is split up, broken apart, they all hate one another and none have ever made me feel particularly welcome. I’ve talked at length here time and time again how my parents treated me growing up, and how I feel towards them nowadays. My feelings about my family are of no surprise or secret. I’m rather open about the whole thing. The one thing I hadn’t counted on, however, was regretting being an only child later on down the road.

At first, you think it comes with perks. Hey, I’m my parents only child! It’s my duty to carry on the family genetics, it’s my legacy, so they can’t draft me into the army! Turns out the pros aren’t as long lasting as the cons are. Turns out that, surprise surprise, twenty years down the road, you suddenly find yourself incredibly lonely. For someone like me, who has always had trouble making friends and forming long lasting relationships, an actual sibling would’ve been a built in companion. It would’ve meant, on the chances the relationship between us was good, having someone to turn to in times of crisis or need. Having someone to vent to. Having someone to get advice from or reassurance or anything of the sort. It would’ve meant not being so fucking alone.

But, to not have a sibling, to not have somebody to share your conquests, your failures, your doubts and your dreams? Certainly you can find the same sort of thing in a general sense with a spouse or partner, but you didn’t grow up together, you don’t have the same history, it’s just…not the same, you know? To be damned to be that eternally lonely, it’s a special type of hell.

So in the end, what we’re left with essentially is the fact that once again, I am alone. I have no sister or brother to talk to, to tell my hopes and dreams to, my aspirations or my failings. I have no familial connection and ultimately feel absolutely alone, no matter what the circumstances are. I have a girlfriend of about 3 years now, I have two dogs and a myriad of online friends, and while I don’t like socializing, I do enjoy talking to these people and yet…it’s not the same.

I’ve talked many times on this blog about loneliness, about the feeling you have being without family, without the one group that’s supposed to be there for you, love you and support you, but this is different. It’s different because a sibling is someone you grow up with, as opposed to parents, who you grow up under. They’re considered your superior, whereas your sibling is considered your equal. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But without this person, there’s just…there’s no other real substitute.

So I’m not alone, by any means. I’ve got my girlfriend, our dogs, some online friends, but there’s no thing like not having a sibling. What’s worse was growing up with stepsiblings who hated you. It was almost like an insult to the idea of not having real siblings to begin with. I’m not saying stepsiblings in general are shit, just the ones I had to grow up with. Not only did I not grow up with an actual sibling, with a real connection, but instead I grew up with people who openly despised me, and it was all for the worse.

They say siblings can make up their own secret language, but when you’re alone, who the hell do you talk to.

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.

Wanna donate to me directly? You can do that via PayPal! Wanna support me ongoing month to month and get content early? You can do that via Patreon! Wanna support me but can’t do it continuously? You can do that via Buy Me A Coffee! Thanks for whatever you can spare, I really appreciate it!