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The Seventies, when my hair was black and my sideburns long as skunk tails.

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Jerrle in one of her many hospitalizations, enjoying a visit by a comfort dog.

MEA CULPA
AND I’M SORRY

Today I can finally announce that I am starting the long road back to writing. (Whether that’s good news or bad is for you to decide, Gentle Reader. I’m somewhat prejudiced on the matter.)

It’s been 13 months since I set a word to (digital) paper other than social media postings, but the stirring has gotten profound enough to shove aside my post-funeral hangover and let my brain start the plotting. I have short stories, novels, and a nonfiction book in mind, and today I begin the outlines. Stay tuned.

And now, a related topic on me and writing: Unbridled Anger.

A few of my friends have noted to me privately that some of my posts seem far more angry and bitter than in the past. After several months’ reflection, I believe that’s true. But there’s a reason, and I will lay it out for you now.

I still live with a plutonium core of anger that my wife of 40 years, Jerrle, was forced to die of tumors and starvation while so many soul-less jackals still roam this Earth, free of pain and morality as they smear anyone they feel like, for any reason or none at all, and the media does nothing but cheerlead.

Sociopaths seem to have taken over My America. That includes politicians all along the political spectrum, corporate CEOs, the “he-man” who punched out a grandmother with an oxygen tank because she dared state contrary political views at a public event, the evil souls who bombed New York and New Jersey yesterday, the media ghouls who feast at the sight of blood and corpses, the packs of fangs and teeth who attack and beat innocent people solely because they’re Not Our Kind. The whole panoply of evil plays out daily on America’s airwaves, with the cable hosts egging them on for clicks, likes, eyeballs, fame, and profit.

(Plus my back still hurts like a %^&&%%-ker, making me miss events I hold dear like this year’s Bouchercon in New Orleans. I found myself seething with jealousy when I saw everyone’s photos of the terrific party that is the world’s largest mystery fan conference and I had to be absent. But that’s a story for another time.)

It’s tough to let go of my fury at the profound unfairness of them living happy and healthy while Jerrle suffered for more than a year, then died four days before her 60th birthday. It’s been a year since the funeral, and I still boil with anger. I’m trying to let it go, or at least funnel it into more uplifting pursuits.

So let this post serve as my apology for any anger that spilled onto unrelated topics or people, and my solemn vow that I shall try to do better. (“Try” being key; nobody’s perfect.) My public writings will never be rainbows and unicorns, as there is serious business afoot in the land. But I will try to be nicer about it, if still pungent in trying to write the wrongs I see. (See what I did there?)

Jerrle enjoys eternal sunshine as she watches her beloved Chicago Cubs race to the World Series. She has the best seat in the “far upper decks” at Wrigley. But she’s not here on Earth enjoying life with me. So when I see blowhards conjure “enemies” out of whole cloth for personal profit or sadism; Congress go on vacation while the Zika virus chews up innocent babies and their families; attack dogs unleashed on Native Americans who insist that an oil pipeline company not install a funnel of death on their tribal lands; the CEO of Wells Fargo blame “low-level employees” for the multimillion-dollar fraud orchestrated in HIS executive suite–and gets off scot-free–bad guys shoot good cops, bad cops shoot good kids, and all the other Ugly of today’s American life . . . .well, the anger at losing my Precious froths onto targets both righteous and not deserving of my wrath or name-calling.

(Not that what I write matters to them–who is this pimple named Gericke and why does it matter what this pimple says about me?–but fairness and balance is important for me to abide by in writing, both for myself and if I insist that others practice it, too. So from this point on I shall try to do better, I promise.)

Thanks for sticking with me “in sickness and health, for better or worse” this past year. I will continue to miss the hell out of the love of my life. But the rest of life makes its clarion call–and it’s time I try to follow.

With warmest regards,
Your Personal Word Monkey

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