Between the last post and now I was working extra to get ready to go to a cartooning workshop in Vermont, and then going to it. I started out to be a cartoonist, not a bike racer or a mechanic. Forget the decades that have intervened. Forget the skinned knuckles, black fingernails, hours on my feet and widely varying levels of thanks. For three days all I had to think about was cartooning, in the company of people who know their craft.
It was great to find out that even with all my years in obscure isolation I can hang with the field in a bunch of cartoonists. I may be a little ragged, but I wasn't off the back. Clearly the Cat Ones in the bunch were the real professionals, but they weren't out to stomp us.
When I got back to the shop I was exceptionally aware how tedious it is to have to get through a day of work to get to your own time, when you can do what you really wanted to do with the day. And you only have a scrap of day left in which to do it.
I was planning to be Jef Mallet. I even thought of it first (1979). But he showed up with the goods, while I was off having some other weird life. It all gets used at some point. No one is really on Easy Street. Step one: stay alive. Steps two through whatever: like nuts and bolts in a drawer. Sort 'em, stack 'em, combine 'em, or just et 'em rust. Every day you have to make the best choices you can. Either way, the day ends and another one follows.