a one panel comic strip in silhouette on a cliff with a talking tree and a man letting go of a balloon that symbolized his fantasy and obsession, all on a cliff

#208 "The Balloon"

My major obsessions in life have been with sugary treats such as ice cream sandwiches, Twinkies, date squares, Suzy-Qs, and Jello pudding. The kind that bordered on addiction. Unlike addiction to a drug, each of these sugar manias were easily escapable. Such escapes were usually inspired by parental punishments, no money, or a 4-inch overhang of fat over my belt (I've never bought new clothes to accomodate my chub—instead, I suffer like a good, unconscious practitioner of the art of mortification of the flesh). Not all obsessions are so easily dismissed.

In my teen years, obsession and fantasy came hand in hand like the fun-time twins in The Shining. The sensations and emotions were so intense that it was easy for a particular girl to overwhelm my Hollywood romance trained mind. The movies and TV that taught the belief to never give up on the girl—no matter how much you repulsed her—had me bamboozled from boyhood. I wasted years pursuing girls who clearly didn't like me. It took some growing up to learn that rejection is not an invitation to increase one's romantic overtures. Once a rebuff is perceived, it's time to let that person disappear into the void beyond one's five senses (a.k.a. "the bubble of awareness"). Attempts at increasing my lovability through funny and entertaining texts, videos, posts, cards, cakes, or a sign attached to a biplane flying over their houses, will never make anyone want to be my lover, friend, ally, or confidante.

Sadly and happily, people come and go, come and go. On the happy side, there have been times I wanted someone to leave my world so badly, that when they finally did, the relief was like a tsunami washing over me. I'm sure I've been the cause of another person's "yippy-yahoo-he's gone!" at least once. Okay, alright, more than once. I'm almost perfect.

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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle