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Artists, Authors, and the Pious

Crippled may be the least of my worries by the end of this month. Yes, crippled like it’s a state of being. There are days I feel like broken bones and meat and there are the days that I’m Torso Boy. Both may look funny on the outside but one of them can work it! I’ve been so busy this past month with a job turned nightmare, two websites (one of them being you), a book signing, and an end of the year party to cap it all. I shouldn’t worry too much about the Independence Day party, which is being held a few days early due to convenience. Yet I do have some obsessive itch to entertain. This was going to be the first “big” party I’ve had since I bought my house yet out guest list of twenty plus turned into a group of eleven or twelve. Still not bad but I was hoping to get some of my old friends to be new regulars at my party.

The party may not be important but I’ve started a huge undertaking when I started Torso Boy. I wanted to achieve a better social prowess, a body image I wanted, and a fashion style that made me more comfortable. So fashion is nearly in the bag with my current haircut, new shirts that I adore, and a desire for vests. So while the body is a goal best suited for long term work, I am focusing on my socialization. This means events, friends, multiplayer games, and putting the fashion to use. There have already been so many successes in becoming who I want to be yet I still see a long road ahead.

In part of getting everything in order, I’ve updated my portfolio site and started up blog. So I guess this is my “Hello World” post. I want to be able to reach out and open up a bit even if nobody pings back. Incredibly, my confidence has been boosted by what is being dubbed as the “Photo Op Tour.” This isn’t so much a tour as it’s a great opportunity to meet people and take the world head on. So any time I get to meet someone of even moderate fame, I try and get a photo with them. This has really blown open a whole realm of adventure as within this year alone I’ve met Jimmy Urine, Voltaire, John Barrowman, and Wil Wheaton. Now while getting to see some of the people who inspire me, it’s not really about the fame. I like seeing how people react to me and interacting with them. The photo is more proof of the encounter than anything.

Wednesday was another amazing moment for the Torso Boy as I got to meet my favorite author, Neil Gaiman. I got my copy of his latest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and got him to sign it as well as one other title. I chose my First Edition copy of The Sandman: Fables and Reflections because there was a small bit in there that I was read as a child and it became very dear to me. While I was not able to get a photo with Neil, the experience was more than enough. To highlight how big of a deal this was for me, I disliked reading when I was younger because to hunch over and manage the book brought unbearable pain. While owning an e-reader has helped this greatly, I read very few books then and Neil changed that with the Sandman series. I had found something that was worth enduring the pain to read.

Regrettably, not all my adventures in the outside world are good ones. I seem to bring out the strangest impulses in people. I find that strangers are sometimes compelled to talk to me. This happens everywhere, from restaurants to grocery stores. The most unique in my experience are the ones who immediately assume my faith. We all know what to assume is. Yet I don’t like to be made an ass. Many times I tell myself that they mean the best of intentions, yet it has not ceased to throw me off when it happens. Earlier this week, I was faced with a similar occurrence. What made this one noticeable was they were the third person in the store, in a ten foot radius of each other. Yet it wasn’t the chain that caught me, it was that the message was different.

I get a lot of, “You must be blessed” “It must be so hard” “I’m praying to <insert deity here> for you,” and it’s all pity. Thank you for your sympathy but I’m just another person on this big dirt ball. This person on the other hand did not offer pity, but thanks. If there is a purpose for our existence, I’d like to believe that I can inspire others as others inspire me. I don’t want to tell people what or how to believe but to do so. I felt that goal was achieved on that night. They seemed to feel like my being there made them grateful for what they did have and making people feel better is something I do enjoy.

I am well aware that I frighten children, shock adults, or befuddle all. This is really the goal of the Torso Boy. Do not be held back, give the world everything you’ve got, and be happy with yourself. I don’t think I would be able to start this adventure without some level of rebellious courage. Again, I scare people and a lot of times, people scare me. So Torso Boy is my cause, my truce, and my dream. Before me I see a culture of shame to the “imperfect” and I don’t want to surrender my happiness to the views of others. This may not be my first step in my epic, but it has certainly been an important one. In the end I hope it opens the door for others after me. It’s going to be one hell of a journey.

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