[from the diaries of Stephen Garrity]
Was rudely awoken this morning by my discovery that, sometime in the night, the phone had burrowed a tunnel through my head and taken up residence in my brain. It was Thomas, with another of his ghastly openers. This time it was, "If the Stromboli erupts, does that make it a pizzaruption?" I groaned at his hideous lack of taste in puns. He went on to tell me that the Bird Parker records had arrived, and what should he do with them? I mumbled instructions for him to put them in the back room and that I would deal with the lot when I returned. The boy's an uncomplaining hard worker, but his misguided aspiration to become a stand-up comic has left him a little lacking in the sense department.
It is obvious, from the disruptions I face daily, that I should find a new home for my alarm clock. The ditch would be a good place.
Ellen and I went out for a walk earlier today, getting sand in our shoes the way we used to do as children. A strange thing to do, I suppose, but Aunt Laura was there, and we needed a break from our routine, at any rate. There wasn't very much to talk about I've only seen her once since we left home, and the circumstances that brought us together then weren't exactly conducive to a happy reunion either and I suppose that neither of us wanted to raise the issue of dad's condition, but we laughed about when I was seven and scrambled up the Norwegian Lady and couldn't get back down, and the time the Ferris wheel got stuck and mom went into full panic mode and dad had to call the fire brigade. I think that, deep down, we secretly regret our loss of innocence; probably I more so than she. She didn't seem to want to talk about Tijuana; I won't ask her again. I'd have liked to talk to her a little more, but time has torn an irreparable rift between us that we could not hope to mend.
I think dad'll be fine after all. The acquiescence that had temporarily taken over for the duration of this ordeal has receded back into shadow, and the grumpy, downright pushy old bastard has resurfaced, much to our chagrin. The nurse who left his room in tears this morning is proof enough that he's on the road to recovery which is good news for me, because I can go home soon. When the emergency call came through, nothing else mattered but the urgent need to return to this place; there are so many things I've left unfinished back home that I, had I been in a better state of mind, should have taken care of first. I know it's selfish, but I hope she's still waiting for me, that I'll have someone to come home to. I didn't treat her properly in abandoning her the way I did, and I'm truly sorry; I'll do right by her soon.
Phil tried to call me on my cell phone again last night. (James, I swear, if you gave him this number, you can go find a new drinking partner). I simply put it in the bathroom and allowed it to ring itself off the proverbial hook. He's probably just calling me up for help with another piece again
. And it's not even as if I left the company last week. I wonder how long it'll take for the fact that I'm no longer working there to sink in. Probably for as long as I continue to allow myself to be made use of. Molly's always said that I give in far too easily, after all.
--[Oh God, what if Phil decides to pop ov
]--Stop it, Steve, you're being ridiculous.
Yet even now, I find myself being unreasonably concerned about matters beyond my control: how Thomas is running (or ruining?) the business without me; whether our radiator has malfunctioned again; if my car, which I so foolishly left at James' place, will start when I pick it up. I'm battling that persistent inner voice nagging me to up the travel agency and book a return ticket; I can't afford to make premature plans, not before the shadow has passed. But how do you choose between what's right and what's right for you; how do you balance duty with overwhelming need?
Update: Fixed the recorded message colour and Stephen's teeth.
100 Pictures Challenge 82: Can You Hear Me?
LOOK TORY, NO DONUTS! Oh wait...
So, uh, this idea was conceived back in 2006, shortly after True Love is
, but I failed in every way imaginable in trying to convey it in pictorial form because (1) I hadn't the technical skills to draw *any* kind of interiors and (2) it never occurred to me back then to do it in comic form. I suppose I might do better next year, but -- oh for gizkas' sake, I might not *live* that long!
Anyway, I was trying for that slightly vintage comic book look, you know, with very simple shading and that halftones look. Admittedly, the colours weren't as rich in their original flat version; the halftoning(?) turned them a little darker and richer, and I couldn't be bothered to tamper with that. LOL. And sorry for the green text in panels 8 and 9; I didn't want to use overly obtrusive colours because... well, the text can be read or ignored.
Oh, and imagine that the incomplete sentence in the third last paragraph is struck through; dA won't let me actually do that. LOL.
Many thanks to my betas (no six-fingered hands this time though, guys)!
refers to Panel 6 as "creepy sad". Gee, I wonder why.
Inked with a hard brush pen and Chinese calligraphy ink. Digitally coloured with Corel PhotoPaint.
This is a chapter in the ongoing Project Garrity
. To read previous chapters, please click here: [link]
Stephen Garrity, and all other characters and fictitious locations named in The Diaries of Stephen Garrity © Farlander.